This November, Newport Beach residents will vote on whether their city will ever allow red light cameras and other automated traffic offense detecting devices. While opponents of red light cameras argue the devices do not prevent accidents and are not constitutional, proponents of the cameras say they cut down on traffic violations and save lives.
Red Light Camera Studies & Crash Rates
A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that traffic accident fatalities fell by 26 percent at intersections which were equipped with red light cameras. In total, 159 fewer people died in crashes across the country in cities where cameras were used at intersections.
However, a Chicago Department of Transportation study found that the number of crashes which occur at intersections with red light cameras roughly stays the same as those intersections without cameras.
Can both of these studies be accurate? Some safety experts say they make sense: red light cameras likely prevent higher-speed, more serious crashes, such as left- and right-turn crashes. At the same time, the cameras may significantly raise the number of rear-end crashes, such as fender-benders resulting from someone braking suddenly to avoid running a red light and receiving a ticket.
Red Light Cameras and Financial Concerns
While many argue over whether red light cameras prevent accidents or save lives, no one argues that automated ticketing is a moneymaker for cities. The cameras can make millions by issuing thousands of tickets, all largely without the help of paid police officers. Some believe that cities are installing more cameras to make money, and that safety is not the first concern.
Newport Beach Car Accident Attorney
Have you been injured in a California car accident at an intersection or traffic light? Do you wonder whether you could deserve compensation? At Russell & Lazarus, we offer motor vehicle injury victims a free case evaluation—a chance to discuss your case and get answers to your questions from an experienced car accident lawyer. To schedule your appointment, call (949) 851-0222 today.