The number of red light cameras installed at intersections in Texas and throughout the nation has exploded in recent years. In 2000, only 25 U.S. cities used red light camera technology. Currently, more than 500 cities in approximately half of all states have begun using the equipment. Red light cameras are mounted on poles at intersections and operate using sensors embedded in the roadway. The sensors take photos of automobiles that cross into an intersection against a green light. In some cities such as Seattle, Baltimore, and New York, speed cameras also monitor motorists as they navigate the streets.
Although many claim the cameras increase safety by cutting down on traffic accidents, scientific research tends to refute such claims. In a seven-year study of 28 intersections, the Virginia Transportation Research Council found the accident rate increased by 12 percent at Northern Virginia intersections following implementation of red light camera technology. Although the number of crashes that resulted from red light running decreased at the intersections, rear-end collisions reportedly increased by 27 percent. Considering that four times more accidents resulted from rear-end crashes than red light running at the intersections, the Council found that the overall number of crashes actually increased. Additionally, the study found half of the cities examined experienced an increase in injuries following red light camera implementation. Council researchers concluded there was no definitive safety benefit associated with the installation of red light cameras.
This year, the University of South Florida published research that found cities with red light cameras have 25 percent more traffic deaths related to red light running than cities without the technology. The Journal of the Institute of Transport Engineers recently published research from seven states that found rear-end crashes increased at intersections where red light camera technology was installed. Additionally, a 2005 investigative report by the Washington Post found red light cameras doubled the accident rate and increased injuries by 81 percent at 30 intersections in the District of Columbia.
Critics of the technology believe red light cameras are being installed at an increasing pace because they generate much needed funding for many cash strapped municipalities. Despite that most red light cameras are operated by a vendor, cities still make a large profit off of the cameras. For example, municipalities across the State of Texas brought in approximately $100 million in red light camera revenue in 2011. In fact, the City of Dallas was recently accused of making yellow lights at red light camera intersections shorter than established Texas Department of Transportation requirements in an effort to increase ticket revenue.
Automobile accidents caused by red light running or other negligent driver behavior can result in tragic injuries to you and your family. If you were hurt in an accident caused by another person, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, disability, lost wages, suffering, pain, and other damages. If you lost a relative in a tragic car accident, you may also be eligible to file a Texas wrongful death claim. Although no amount of money can bring back your loved one, it is a good idea to contact a hardworking Texas personal injury attorney following any accidental death.
Call Carabin Shaw toll free at (800) 862-1260 if you were hurt or lost a family member in an automobile accident. Our experienced El Paso car accident lawyers are available to answer your questions and help you file your personal injury or wrongful death case. At Carabin Shaw, our dedicated attorneys represent injured clients throughout Texas including McAllen, Beeville, Laredo, El Paso, Seguin, Beaumont, Rockport, Austin, and San Antonio. To schedule a free confidential consultation with a highly capable Texas attorney, contact Carabin Shaw today through the law firm’s website.
MADD Issues Safe Driving Tips for Memorial Day Weekend in Texas, Nationwide, Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, May 22, 2012
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Texas, Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, May 16, 2012
Red Light Cameras: Increasing Safety or Profits?, by Michael Janati, The Washington Times Communities
Red Light Cameras May Increase Fatalities: USF Study, by Chris Sweeney, New Times Broward-Palm Beach