How Effective Are Red Light Cameras in Preventing Accident and Injury?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2016 | Car Wrecks

The topic of red light cameras is an ongoing debate right here, in the state of Texas, and all across the nation. The controversy reaches far and wide, with arguments that the cameras really do help reduce the number of car wrecks at intersections to convictions that they exist simply to generate revenue. Multiple publications across the country have published pieces that point out the undeniable pros and cons of camera installation, proving that one thing is for sure: Red light cameras offer a number of advantages, but studies show they have significant drawbacks, too.

Hopes for the Technology

Red light camera technology is backed by the concept that by catching those who run red lights and ticketing them for the violation, we can discourage the behavior of running red lights, thus decreasing the number of car accidents at intersections. Sounds good in theory, but the question has been, and continues to be: Is this type of camera enforcement effective when it comes to safety?

What the Studies Show

The New York Times reported a study that discovered a 13 to 29 percent reduction in all types of injury-related crashes, thanks to red light camera enforcement. Additionally, there was a 24 percent reduction in right-angle injury-related crashes at intersections thanks, as well.

The Federal Highway Administration also did a thorough study back in 2005 and found a 25 percent drop in overall front-to-side collisions across seven different cities, however, there was a 15 percent increase in rear-end accidents, which has further spurred critics’ voices where safety is concerned. Some argue that the cameras cause drivers to stop short at lights, increasing the number of rear-end collisions.

Red Light Cameras in Texas

At least 35 cities across the state of Texas currently use red light camera enforcement to monitor highway intersections. They cannot be used to photograph other traffic violations, such as speeding, and the state uses all the fines collected from red light enforcement to operate and administer the cameras. The money also funds general upkeep to maintain the systems and to install new cameras.

While there have been numerous claims that red light cameras are merely a ploy to generate revenue, studies show they have both aided in increasing driver safety and contributed to an increase in rear-end incidents. Only time will tell how impactful the results will be long-term and whether or not they are worth the installation time, upkeep, and money. If you have been involved in an auto accident, you need to speak with a knowledgeable New Braunfels car accident attorney to inquire about your rights. Call the Bettersworth Law Firm today at 830-443-9193 for a consultation.