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Red-light cameras decline despite well-known benefits

| Jan 24, 2020 | Car Accidents |

In a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 92.9% of respondents agreed that running a red light is unacceptable behavior. Yet 42.7% admitted to doing so at least once in the previous 30 days. California motorists may have heard about how red-light cameras can help cut down on red-light running violations. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, they can do so by as much as 40%.

Cameras do more, though. The IIHS compared large cities with cameras to those without them and found that the former see 21% fewer red-light running crash fatalities than the latter do. Ever since red-light cameras have been declining, the number of such fatalities has actually risen. So, for instance, there was a drop from 533 communities with cameras in 2012 to 421 communities in 2018. During that period, fatalities rose 17%.

Regarding the decline in red-light cameras, it appears that the loss of public support is behind it. Many cities are using cameras to make money, not to save lives. Chicago, for example, had the most extensive red-light camera system in 2014, but it shortened its yellow light duration to the minimum that is allowable. Communities that wish to build support for cameras can consider the checklist provided by safety organizations like the IIHS and AAA.

When car collisions arise because of a traffic violation, then those who were injured and not at fault may have good grounds for a personal injury claim. They may want to hire a lawyer, who may, in turn, hire third parties like crash investigators to gather proof of the defendant’s negligence. This proof may include the photograph taken by a red-light camera. Once the case is ready, the lawyer may initiate negotiations for a settlement out of court.

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