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red light cameras

red light camerasOne of the biggest sources of controversies in cities across the country when it comes to traffic violations has been the installation of red light cameras at different intersections.  Private motorists did not appreciate being filmed and photographed when they went through an intersection that had a red light at the time, and they certainly did not appreciate receiving a letter in the mail about a week later with a citation enclosed.  People simply do not like these pieces of technology, but many people begrudgingly decided to put up with them because most people believed that they did make busy intersections safer for everyone.

However, some cities around the country have had sufficient time now to measure the data regarding the number of citations that were issued, the amount of money generated by the fines levied and perhaps most importantly the number of traffic accidents that have occurred at these locations.  Philadelphia is one such city, and the data that was generated is going to give opponents of red light cameras material to work with as they fight to have them removed.

 The study concerned the first two intersections in Philadelphia where cameras were installed, as those cameras have been in place long enough that 10 years of data could be measured.  Below is the data that appeared in TheNewspaper.com:

  • Intersection 1

In the five years before the red light camera was installed, there were 138 accidents at that intersection.  103 of those accidents led to at least one injury.  In the five years after the camera was installed, there were 159 accidents and 131 that led to at least one injury.

  • Intersection 2

In the five years before the red light camera was installed, there were 82 car accidents at the intersection and 56 crashes that led to at least one injury.  In the five years afterward, there were 100 crashes and 80 that led to at least one serious injury. 

Clearly, the number of car accidents and injuries rose in both locations after the red light cameras were installed.  This has led to many strong reactions in the area, and perhaps the most common explanation offered was that people tended to speed through the intersection more recklessly than before because they were worried that they would be caught on camera.  Therefore, people tended to attack yellow lights more aggressively and create more danger.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the data that’s released coincides with this study or if it will turn out that this data is not the norm.  If it is the norm, the outcry will likely get louder.  However, whatever the result, people who go flying through intersections and who cause crashes are generally negligent.  Those who have been injured by these actions have legal rights.  If you have been injured by a negligent driver, contact the Las Vegas accident lawyers at the Sam Harding Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation. 

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