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Traffic Light Cameras and Aggressive Traffic Enforcement Prevent Accidents

December 09, 2010

There is an increasing trend in many states including Georgia to place cameras on traffic signals which has caused an ongoing debate about whether such measures are a cost-effective way to prevent serious auto accidents or simply a revenue source for municipalities. Supporters of such measures believe that these cameras which take a picture of a car's license plate reduces traffic accidents related to running red lights and speeding violations near intersections. Critics of these cameras and stricter enforcement of traffic laws generally contend that red light cameras and increases in issuing traffic tickets are more about filling the public coffers than motor vehicle safety.

There is a fair amount of data to suggest that both use of red light cameras and increased issuing of citations for traffic violations do help reduce both accident rates and the seriousness of accidents. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those who are injured or killed in Georgia car crashes for over a quarter of a decade. We support such measures to the extent they can help save lives.

While no one wants to get a traffic ticket for running a red light, these traffic cameras have been shown to reduce accident rates. One study found a decline in average speed by 14% only 6 months after implementing traffic cameras. The number of vehicles driving more than 10 mph over the speed limit declined a staggering 82%. Many serious auto accidents involve drivers who run red lights or are speeding, which makes red light cameras a deterrent against behavior that frequently leads to serious injury or even fatalities. Many find these cameras to be annoying, but there is little argument that fewer cars running red lights and speeding mean fewer traffic accidents.

The findings related to red light cameras are consistent with other studies relating to the impact of more aggressive traffic enforcement laws. One study found that for every 100 additional citations issued for traffic violations including speeding, failure to wear a seat belt or failure to stop at a stop sign, there were 12 fewer traffic accidents. The study also found safety is more dependent on traffic law enforcement than on specific traffic laws. This is consistent with everyday experience, as many drivers tend to slow down in areas that have a reputation for police officers waiting with a radar gun and speed up in rural areas where traffic enforcement is less aggressive.

The next time you pass a police officer with a radar gun on the highway or get caught by a red light camera and mutter under your breath, you should consider these studies that show such efforts actually prevent traffic accidents and save lives. Strict traffic enforcement may actually protect you and those you love by making drivers slow down and obey traffic signals. While the issue of strict traffic enforcement and the use of red light cameras as a revenue source remains open for debate, a reduction in car accident and traffic fatality rates is a laudable goal.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have seen the emotional, physical and financial devastation that serious car accidents can inflict on a family. While our Experienced Auto Accident Attorneys in Georgia are available to represent those who are seriously injured or killed in Georgia auto accidents, we would prefer to see fewer, not more car accident victims. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.