The Value of Red Light Cameras in Preventing Intersection Accidents


December 17, 2013

While red light cameras are fairly unpopular with motorists because they frequently result in expensive tickets with compelling evidence that is difficult to dispute, the pictures provided by these cameras can produce vital evidence of unsafe driving that causes severe injury or wrongful death. Although the political merits of such cameras in terms of their use as a revenue source for strapped municipalities may be open to debate, car accident victims can benefit from this valuable form of evidence when they are represented by an experienced Atlanta auto accident attorney that knows how to use this type of evidence effectively.

Although some motorists assume that drivers rarely barrel through red lights, the reality is somewhat disturbing. Red light runners cause the death of over 700 people and injury to 118,000 more in the U.S. each year according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These types of accidents are tragic because collisions caused by driving through a red light are entirely avoidable if a driver is focused on the roadway. The vast majority of red light accidents involve careless drivers that are driving too fast to stop, failing to pay attention to the roadway or driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Admittedly, motorists would prefer not to be issued traffic tickets that carry steep fines, but the best way to discourage unsafe driving practices is with strict enforcement. Traffic cameras provide evidence that is very difficult for drivers to dispute which is one of the reasons the cameras are loathed by many motorists who receive red light tickets. The effectiveness of red light cameras in enforcing compliance with traffic signals is confirmed by a study conducted by the IIHS in large cities like Atlanta that found these traffic safety monitoring devices reduce the number of crashes that are caused by red light violations by 24 percent. Because the presence of red light cameras also encourages other safe driving practices, such as slower speeds, the overall crash rate declined by seventeen percent at intersections with red light cameras according to the study.

Aside from the safety benefits of red light cameras, these devices also can provide critical photographic evidence in car accident cases involving traffic signal violations. While many presume that insurance companies do not aggressively contest liability when their client runs a red light, this is not an accurate description of how insurance carriers operate. In reality, the insurance carrier often disputes whether their insured actually ran a red light even when there are human witnesses who observe the traffic violation. Red light camera evidence can be a powerful tool when used correctly during negotiations with insurance carriers. Other critical evidence can also sometimes be ascertained from video or photo evidence provided by red light cameras, such as weather conditions, road conditions and witnesses that have not previously been identified.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case

Our experienced Atlanta auto accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have experience using such evidence to build a compelling position for our client in insurance settlement negotiations and litigation. Our Atlanta intersection accident attorneys have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.