According to the Washington Post, one of the reasons that more red-light cameras are being installed in the Washington region is that per a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, between 2004 and 2008 they helped the number of DC traffic deaths at intersections go down by 26%.
Red-light cameras catch drivers crossing intersections when the light is red by taking a picture of them committing the act. Although some people have complained that the cameras are a tool for raising revenue—these cameras generated $7.2 million in revenue in 2000, under $5 million in 2005, and $7.2 million in D.C. in 2009— stopping people from driving across the street when the light is red can save lives. D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told the Washington Post changing driver behavior is the goal. She says that traffic deaths in the District went down 50% in four years.
DC Car Crashes
According to a survey conducted last year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, although 93% of drivers reported that they believe that if a motorist can stop safely to obey a red light then it isn’t acceptable to run one, 1/3rd of them admitted that they had done just that in the past 30 days. Regardless of whether or not you approve of red-light cameras, it is important to point out that running a red light at an intersection can prove catastrophic should a Washington DC auto accident occur.
Some reasons why people run red lights:
• Distracted driving
• Drunk driving
• Drugged driving
None of these reasons are good enough reasons to get involved in a DC car crash. Not only can injuries or deaths result but the negligent driver could end up in jail.
Use of red-light cameras in Washington area increases, Washington Post, February 23, 2011
Q&As: Red light cameras, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
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