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Red light cameras invite controversy in spite of benefits

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2020 | Firm News

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that in 2016, there were more than 800 deaths resulting from red light-running crashes. Pennsylvania residents should know that there is one good way to reduce the number of such violations and such deaths: the installation of traffic-enforcement cameras. However, it is a move that many communities have decided against or have struggled to gain public support for.

IIHS data shows that red light cameras can reduce red light violations by some 40%, making the benefits clear. The number of red light running crash fatalities is 21% lower in large cities with cameras than in large cities without them. Yet between 2012 and 2018, the number of communities that installed cameras went down from 533 to 421. Incidentally, red light running crash deaths increased 17% in that time.

However, cameras have been used by many cities more to generate revenue than to save lives. Chicago is a good example; back in 2014, it had the largest red light camera system as well as the shortest allowable duration for its yellow lights. However, not only were more traffic tickets handed out, but there were also more rear-end collisions as drivers slammed their brakes to avoid the cameras. For this and other reasons, it has been hard to gain public support for cameras.

When car accidents occur because of red light runners, the photograph that a camera takes can come in handy. It can establish, along with the police report, eyewitness testimony and other proof, that the driver was responsible for the other side’s injuries. Those who wish to file a personal injury claim may want to hire a lawyer. The lawyer might, in turn, hire investigators and medical experts to build up the case before heading to the negotiation table.