Do red light cameras at U.S. intersections really save lives? | DENENA | POINTS

Do red light cameras at U.S. intersections really save lives?

Our Galveston car accident attorneys have written in another blog about the viewpoint of the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) and some other safety advocates that proclaim that the presence of red light cameras at intersections reduces accidents and saves lives.

But other safety advocates and organizations maintain that the IIHS arguments are flawed and their use of data biased. The National Motorist Association (NMA), for instance, conducted its own study on red light cameras. The NMA studied many different cities of all different sizes throughout the United States. (Our Galveston car accident attorneys point out that the IIHS data focused only on 14 similar cities.) The NMA study found that these cities experienced increased numbers of accidents at intersections equipped with red light cameras.

  • Los Angeles, CA experienced increased accident rates at 20 out of 32 red light camera-equipped intersections. At some of these intersections, accident rates tripled after the cameras were installed.
  • Washington, D.C. saw accidents increase by a rate of 107% at red light camera intersections.
  • Portland, OR experienced an increase of 140% in accidents at red light camera intersections.
  • Philadelphia, PA saw its accident rates increase by 10% to 21% at the red light camera intersections.
  • Fort Collins, CO experienced an 83% increase.
  • Corpus Christi, TX saw a 14% to 30% increase.
  • And Oceanside, CA experienced a dramatic increase in rear-end collision accidents as high as 800%.

Indeed, some of the statistics following accident rates at red light camera-equipped intersections indicate that the majority of the accidents experienced are rear-end collisions caused when a driver suddenly stops to avoid going through a red light and getting a ticket.

Our Galveston car accident attorneys emphasize that rear-end collisions can cause severe injuries to drivers and passengers in both vehicles. Particularly if the collision involves a smaller vehicle rear-ending a heavy truck and suffering an underride accident, the results could even be fatal. The case for red light cameras at intersections is not an “open and shut” case. Much controversy remains.

Governments support the cameras as an easy revenue generating measure in hard economic times. But the costs of the cameras to you might be much higher than the cost of a red light running ticket. A rear end collision entry because another driver tried to avoid a ticket could result in extensive medical bills and ongoing medical costs. So our Galveston car accident attorneys suggest that you take a look at some of the data on red light cameras before you give them your unqualified support. The data seems to indicate that in some cities and at some intersections the cameras pose more of a hazard to your safety than not.