How Effective are Red Light Cameras?
Red-light cameras are not something that many people want in their areas, but there is evidence to show that they may save lives. While it is true that some cities in West Virginia have used red-light cameras to earn additional revenue, residents should look at whether or not the benefits of these systems outweigh the inconvenience of a ticket.
Red Light Cameras May Reduce Fatalities
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, we can see that 92.9% of drivers think that driving through a red light that has just turned red is unacceptable driving behavior. If that is the case, then why do we see so many people do this? The truth is that red-light crashes are deadly. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that 846 people died in red-light crashes during the latest reporting year of data we have available.
Data from the IIHS shows that red-light cameras do reduce traffic crashes. Using a network of sensors, these cameras automatically photograph vehicles that go through red lights. It is standard practice for a trained police officer or other civilian employee to review the photos or videos that are taken to verify vehicle information and then issue a ticket if there is clear evidence that the vehicle ran the red light.
The IIHS has studied many communities throughout the US and found that in areas where red-light cameras are implemented, there was a reduction of red-light violation rates by approximately 40%. They say that these cameras not only affected intersections with these cameras, but also the next intersection after them.
The IIHS indicates that in large cities with a red-light camera system, the fatal red-light running crash rate fell by 21%.
Lack of Public Support for Red Light Cameras
Red-light cameras do have their detractors in communities where they are placed. Many people argue that this is yet another way for municipalities to increase their revenue. Other people are worried about the continued “Big Brother” effect of these systems, giving the government yet another way to monitor our behavior.
However, public support for these cameras is growing, as more and more people realize the safety benefits. The IIHS says that communities that use these cameras should use the revenue to improve overall community public safety.
Would Red Light Cameras Help my Car Accident Case?
If you have been injured in a crash by a driver that ran a red light, any evidence showing this happened would be beneficial. However, it is very difficult to obtain this footage from government officials. In many cases, the photo or video evidence is not stored for long periods of time, and officials cite the logistical inability of providing this data as reasons they do not do so.
Consult a West Virginia Auto Accident Lawyer
A skilled West Virginia car accident attorney will be able to help with all aspects of your case. You need to contact Tiano O’Dell, PLLC as soon as possible to help with your case so we can work to preserve any evidence that will help secure the compensation you are entitled to. Our goal is to obtain coverage of your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and more. You can contact us for a free consultation online or by calling (304) 720-6700.