Strengthening public support for red-light cameras

San Antonio residents should know that red-light cameras are proven to reduce the number of traffic violations and crashes around intersections. In particular, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that cameras reduce the number of red-light running violations by 40% and red-light running crash deaths by 21%, at least when comparing large cities with cameras to those without them.

These are significant numbers because hundreds of people die every year in the U.S. at the hands of red-light runners. The trend cannot be blamed on a lack of education. In a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey, 92.9% acknowledged that running a red light is wrong. Yet 42.7% did it at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey.

Unfortunately, red-light cameras are being removed from many communities due to a loss in public support. Many are seeing how cities use cameras, along with shorter yellow lights, to generate revenue. This combination has also been linked to an increase in rear-end collisions as drivers must stop suddenly to avoid the cameras.

There are, however, ways that communities can strengthen support for cameras before installing them. For example, they can be transparent about every aspect of the plan, including where the cameras will be installed. They can ensure due process for the contesting of tickets, too.

If they don’t end in death, red-light running crashes can still end in serious injuries. Fortunately, there is a way for victims of motor vehicle accidents to seek compensatory damages, and it is by filing a claim. Victims may be awarded damages if their degree of fault is less than the defendant’s, but any degree of fault will reduce those damages. Another thing is that victims might face strong opposition from the insurance company, so they may consider retaining legal counsel.


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