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Running-a-Red-Light Accident Deaths on the Rise

11 Year Old Boy killed in Modesto Hit and Run

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) analyzed data from traffic accidents caused by a driver running a red light. They found that, during 2016 alone, over 800 people died from these types of accidents. This represents a 17% increase since 2012. To highlight the critical importance of red light camera programs in municipalities across America, the IIHS and three other national safety organizations have released a checklist to guide the planning and implementation of red light camera programs.

Red light camera programs can save lives

“We developed the guidelines to help communities avoid the problems that have undermined programs in the past,” said David Harkey, President of the IIHS. Harkey went on to state that when camera programs aren’t consistently implemented, there is a rise in red light-related accidents, injuries, and deaths.

Critics of red light camera programs have claimed that their primary purpose is to generate revenue for municipalities. Jill Ingrassia, the managing director of Government Relations and Traffic Safety Advocacy of AAA, would like to debunk this misconception. She states, “When properly implemented, red light cameras can help save lives and can serve to supplement law enforcement efforts, rather than generate revenue for governments.” Ingrassia went on to state that the guidelines released by the national safety organizations can go a long way toward restoring public trust in red light camera programs, and in making the roadways safer for all.

Red light camera advocates face an uphill battle

There has been a decrease in the number of communities with red light camera programs from 2012 to 2018—the same period of time that saw a spike in traffic accidents caused by running red lights. The IIHS noted that new camera programs continue to be implemented, but the downward trend continues because more municipalities are turning off their cameras. Public opposition to the programs, reduction in camera-initiated citations, and financial strain are the top causes for a community turning off its cameras.

A closer look at the red light camera checklist

The red light camera checklist provides comprehensive best practices guidance regarding planning, oversight, and sustainable public support. The first step a community should take is to identify the intersections at which running the red light occurs regularly. Before installing a red light camera, communities can consider changes to the road design and signal timing to reduce accidents. Then, communities should solicit public input and statements from victim/advocates. The checklist also encourages communities to engage in ongoing evaluation to ensure the public’s support.

Ellis Injury Law: Successfully advocating on behalf of traffic accident victims

The LA car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law applaud every effort by state and national organizations to improve traffic safety and minimize preventable deaths. But even one fatality is one too many. If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident, it’s only natural to want justice. Call us today at 888-675-8254 to request your free case review. Our legal team fights for the rights of accident victims and their families throughout southern California.

Additional resources about traffic safety:

  1. IIHS, New guidelines for automated enforcement programs emphasize safety amid rise in red-light-running crash deaths, http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/new-guidelines-for-automated-enforcement-programs-emphasize-safety-amid-rise-in-red-light-running-crash-deaths
  2. CDC, Automated Red-Light Enforcement, https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/calculator/factsheet/redlight.html