New Study Finds Red Light Cameras Are Saving Lives


August 22, 2011

Red light cameras have been the subject of widespread debate in Georgia regarding their impact in reducing auto accidents and personal liberty. Many critics of red light cameras contend that the primary motivation behind use of the cameras is filling the tax coffers.

While there have been conflicting and mixed results in past attempts to quantify the effectiveness of red light cameras in reducing car accidents, a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provides new evidence that red light cameras are a valuable tool for promoting motor vehicle safety.

The IIHS gathered evidence from 14 cities that use red light cameras and compared auto accident rates before installation of red light cameras with rates after the cameras were employed. The data revealed that red light cameras resulted in a 24 percent reduction in auto accident rates in cities utilizing the cameras. The results of the new research also revealed that red light cameras saved 159 lives over a four year period and would have saved as many as 815 lives if they had been installed in all major U.S. cities.

It appears that the tangible results in auto accident reduction in the cities studied have also resulted in a shift in attitude by drivers toward the use of red light cameras. Two-thirds of drivers in the cities studied support the use of red light cameras to reduce traffic accidents, and 42 percent strongly support their use. A survey of drivers in the cities where the red light study was conducted revealed that 90 percent of drivers believe running a red light is an unacceptable driving practice while more than 80 percent view running a red light as a serious threat to driver safety.

Although there are still vocal critics of red light cameras, they appear to be a vocal minority. Those in the IIHS study who indicated that they were opposed to the use of red light cameras to reduce auto accidents provided the following justifications for their position:

  • Red light cameras result in more accidents.
  • The cameras are prone to errors.
  • The use of cameras is primarily to increase revenue not reduce the number of auto accident rates.
  • Red light cameras violate personal privacy.

While the verdict may still be out on red light cameras, this most recent study provides evidence across a wide number of jurisdictions that these traffic enforcement tools seem to be making roads safer and preventing motor vehicle accidents. One-third of all automobile crashes and forty percent of all fatal auto accidents occur at intersections so increased use of red light cameras may result in a substantial reduction in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

If you or your loved one is seriously injured or your loved one is killed in an intersection accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The experienced and dedicated Atlanta intersection accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing Georgia car crash victims for over 27 years. Our Atlanta intersection auto accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and 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.