Most California motorists understand that running a red light is wrong, yet many continue to do it, thinking they will not be caught. To address this trend, many communities over the years have installed traffic-enforcement cameras at their most dangerous intersections. The benefits of these cameras have been attested to in multiple studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
IIHS data shows, for example, that red-light cameras can effect a 40% decrease in the number of red-light running violations. The IIHS also analyzed how many red-light running crash fatalities there are in large cities and found that the cities with red-light cameras saw 21% fewer such fatalities than the others.
Due to a loss of public support, though, many communities are removing their cameras. This loss of support is largely due to the bad example of certain cities, which use cameras more to gain revenue and less to protect the people. In 2012, there were 533 communities with red-light cameras. By mid-2018, that number was 421. That same time period saw a 17% increase in deaths arising from red-light running accidents. While this is clearly not coincidental, it’s clear that other factors may be behind the rise. For example, there are more cars on the road than before.
Red-light runners can cause not only motor vehicle accidents, but they can injure pedestrians and people riding on their bikes as well. Running a red light can be considered a form of negligence, and thus victims might want to meet with an experienced attorney to determine whether a lawsuit should be filed against the driver if a settlement can’t be negotiated.