Red light cameras have become commonplace in many major cities, and even some small towns. Many motorists are surprised to find that they have received a citation based upon the evidence of an intersection camera.
Many proponents have claimed that cameras have increased public safety, but does the data support this? Statistical studies cited by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicate the picture is not so clear. Let’s take a look at the facts about red light cameras and their relationship to traffic accidents.
Benefits of red light cameras
All the major studies agree that after the installation of red light cameras that traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities have generally decreased. One study reported by the IIHS said red lights accounted for a 13% to 29% decrease in crashes that resulted in injury. Many have heralded red light cameras as a social solution to a common traffic violation, but is it really helpful?
An increase in rear-end crashes
Federal Highway Administration studies showed that without a doubt, right-angle crashes went down by 25% when red light cameras were installed. However, rear-end crashes went up by 15%. The data is clear: Drivers slamming on their brakes in fear of getting a citation by the red light camera are potentially causing vehicles behind them to collide.
Red light cameras don’t always capture the entire picture of what was happening around a driver. If you’ve been hit with a ticket due to a red light camera, you have a right to defend yourself and your driving record. Don’t pay the ticket until you’ve learned more about your legal options.