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Despite Benefits, Red-Light Cameras Are Losing Public Support

Wisconsin residents should know that running a red light is a serious traffic violation and can get them into an accident. Every year in this country, hundreds of people die in red-light running crashes, and more often than not, it’s the individual other than the one who runs the red light who dies. This is where red-light cameras at dangerous intersections can be of benefit.

Studies made by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have shown that cameras reduce the number of red-light running violations by some 40%. Comparing large cities that have installed cameras to large cities that have not, the IIHS discovered that the former see 21% fewer fatalities resulting from red-light running.

Between 2012 and 2018, though, the number of communities with camera systems has gone from 533 to 421. One reason for the decline is the lack of public support. There is an awareness that cities can take advantage of cameras as a way to generate more revenue.

To help communities build support for a camera system, the IIHS and other safety organizations recommend several steps. For example, communities should publicize the early stages of the planning and installation process. The public should know the location of the cameras; the intersections should have appropriate signage. Community members should be part of the advisory committee.

Running a red light is a clear example of negligent driving, and whenever it’s the cause of motor vehicle accidents, those who are injured and who are less to blame than the other side have good grounds for a claim. Achieving a fair amount in damages is another matter, though. There are usually medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering to seek compensation for, and insurance companies may be aggressive in denying payment. Victims may hire a lawyer.

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