Local governments continue to look for ways to reduce the number of vehicle crashes that occur in their jurisdictions. Some areas decided to install cameras on their traffic signals that would take photos of drivers who run red lights. The problem is that a study done by Cleveland’s own Case Western Reserve University indicates that red light cameras are not decreasing the number of car accidents and may actually increase them.
In one area of the country, the installation of red light cameras increased the number of non-angle accidents at the intersections in which they were installed. When removed, the number of angle accidents rose. Essentially, one type of crash may have been reduced, but another type of crash increased.
The increase in accidents could result from the fact that many people would slam on their brakes as they approached an intersection in order to avoid being photographed running through a red light. When they do so, it causes all sorts of calamitous events to unfold. Some people speculate that red light cameras are just money-making devices for the local government that may also deny people due process in challenging the tickets they receive in the mail. In fact, the state of Ohio tabulates the amount of money a local government receives from these cameras and deducts it from any amount received from the state.
Whether residents in Cleveland agree with these cameras or not, accidents still occur on the city streets. While researchers and lawmakers debate the efficacy of them, people still suffer serious injuries and lose their lives in car accidents. When that happens, it may be beneficial for the injured or their families to determine their rights and legal options.