Posted On March 29, 2017 In Local Car Accidents
Red light cameras are infamous for attracting controversy wherever they are used. These cameras are placed at intersections to take photographs of drivers running red lights. Once drivers are identified by cameras, they receive tickets. In Lufkin, you can receive a fine of $75 if these cameras catch you running a red light. The fine can increase to $150 if you do not pay the fine in time. Proponents of the cameras claim they prevent car accidents at intersections.
If you hate red light cameras, we have some good news. A Texas lawmaker recently introduced legislation that would remove these cameras across the state. According to the lawmaker who filed the bill, only 20 percent of Texans support using red light cameras.
These cameras are not only hated by most, they might be ineffective and unsafe. There are several arguments against their use.
Red light cameras create a dilemma for motorists who are approaching an intersection at a yellow light. Motorists may feel compelled to suddenly slam on the brakes or speed through intersections to avoid being ticketed.
The Chicago Tribune commissioned a study to analyze whether these cameras made the public less or more safe. According to the results, some intersections experienced a 22 percent increase in rear-end crashes after the cameras were installed. Injuries caused by these accidents rose by 5 percent. Other studies have come to similar conclusions. A Washington Post analysis of crash statistics in Washington D.C. found the cameras did nothing to prevent injuries from collisions.
Public policy initiatives are supposed to utilize a cost-benefit analysis. Are the costs of a policy initiative worth the benefits for the public? In 2002, the U.S. Department of Transportation found costs for automated red light camera systems range from $67,000 to $80,000 per intersection. If it is true these cameras do not prevent accidents (the supposed purpose of the policy) this means the costs are not worth the benefits – at least to the public.
Opponents of these cameras argue there are better ways to prevent accidents at intersections. These include making traffic lights more visible, increasing the yellow light times and improving signage visibility. Intersections can also add an all-red clearance interval.
This would turn lights in all directions red for a brief amount of time after a yellow light phase. Motorists who misjudged the yellow light’s duration who may be stuck in the intersection would not be hit by other vehicles.
A study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims fatal accidents increased by 30 percent on average when cities removed red light cameras. The IIHS study analyzed camera programs in 79 cities, and concluded they saved nearly 1,300 lives. Statistics on this issue can go both ways.
Red light cameras are deeply unpopular with the public. People see these cameras as a means to create revenue. In Chicago, these cameras generated more than $500 million in revenue between 2002 and 2014 – just one city. An analysis on citations generated by the cameras found 13,000 drivers in the Chicago area were a cited erroneously. No wonder people hate these things.
For future updates on transportation and consumer safety, continue following our blog. The Texas car accident attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC encourage you to drive safely.