Over 438 U.S. municipalities, in 36 of the most populous states, have used red light cameras in the past year. These electronic monitoring programs are designed to stop drivers from speeding, running red lights, and preventing cross-street collisions and other traffic accidents. Red lights cameras have shown success in getting drivers to stop at red lights more often. A study done in Virginia found that red lights had actually decreased drivers running red lights by 67 percent.
However, 2014 saw 36,675 people die due to traffic accidents. The preceding year saw 2.3 million people injured in traffic accidents. Clearly, red light cameras then do not have much of an effect on traffic safety.
Are Red Light Cameras Worthless?
While red lights cameras are likely to stop more drivers from running red (or even yellow) lights, they have not shown to have much impact on stopping traffic accidents at red lights and intersections.
A study done in Houston found that when red light cameras were removed, angle accidents (such as lane departure crashes) went up by 26 percent. All other types of accidents decreased by 18 percent, however. Given that a third of Houston’s traffic accidents are angle accidents, it seems that the red light camera program’s drawbacks cancelled out its benefits.
Furthermore, the study concluded that there was no evidence that red light cameras decreased traffic accidents at all. This would seem to indicate that they are not an effective way to make the country’s roadways safer. Different traffic safety measures are called for, such as improving driver’s education, stiffer penalties for traffic violations and more awareness of potential traffic hazards and what is likely to cause an accident.
Questions about your rights after a car accident? Contact the Texas car accident lawyers at Mike Love & Associates for a free consultation.