It turns out there’s a whole lot more red light cameras than most drivers realize. In this article, we will be answering every question drivers have had about red light cameras. Let’s get started!
Where should I be worried about red light cameras?
There is no official list of all of the red light cameras currently in existence. Although the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated in 2014 that there are about 500 communities that have red light cameras in various states.
There are two different types of cameras you will see near traffic signals. One is the traffic surveillance cameras which are small and attached to the traffic signal. Red light cameras a much bigger than traffic surveillance cameras. They look like a large box placed 10 to 15 feet up off of the ground near the traffic signal pole.
Are intersections with red light cameras safer?
The truth is the safety research that exists contradict one another. Some believe that some of the studies were influenced by the insurance industry. It’s difficult to determine whose findings are unbiased.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists a number of studies regarding red light cameras. Most of the studies found that red light cameras helped reduce the number of red-light running crashes. Unfortunately, they increased the number of rear-end crashes. Essentially these red light cameras help prevent more severe crashes even though it causes more “fender benders”.
Why do some cities install red light cameras? And, why do some cities get remove them?
Most cities install red light cameras in order to monitor intersections and reduce accidents caused by drivers who run a red light. The federal government recommends cameras as a safety improvement for states. In order to put up red light cameras many counties have hired private companies, which critics say, can create a focus on profit and not enough on public safety.
Some cities have decided to remove red light cameras because many of the tickets had not been justified. Some areas reported a significant increase in red light camera tickets, which called for audits in various cities and in some cases money returned to drivers. Because of this many cities were losing money.
Are there states that have banned red light cameras?
Yes, in fact, 8 states have banned red light cameras entirely. Especially since something as simple as increasing how long the yellow light is on has been shown to decrease red light accidents. Montana, Maine, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Mississippi, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and West Virginia have all banned these type of cameras. Nevada and Arkansas have laws that restrict the use of red light cameras.
South Dakota went as far as passing a law preventing any vehicle registration from being shared with other states to block them from being able to give red light camera tickets to their residents. That doesn’t mean that the driver still can’t get a ticket, but the state who issues it will have to put forth a little extra effort to determine who the driver is.
How can you avoid a red light camera ticket?
You should drive with the assumption that every intersection will have a red light camera. This means you should be prepared to react to light changing and pay attention when driving. If you’re driving the speed limit you may be able to go through a yellow light, but if you are unsure do not attempt to run the light. It’s better to stop and wait for the next light than getting into an accident. Most importantly, leave a lot of space in front of your vehicle so that you have time to stop if the driver ahead of you has to suddenly come to a complete stop.
How can you become a better driver?
There are various ways to become a better driver. Follow the laws, always go the speed limit, and always be a cautious driver. You can also take an online traffic school to help you learn to be a defensive and safer driver. Some insurance companies even offer additional discounts for those who take driving courses voluntarily. Ask your insurance company if that is a discount they offer!