Do Red Light Cameras Prevent Florida Intersection Accidents?
Can red-light cameras prevent Boca Raton car crashes?
Intersection accidents are among the most dangerous. Drivers typically speed up when trying to cross an intersection with a changing light. When a car travelling at a high rate of speed crashes into the side of another vehicle, the results are often tragic.
Red light cameras are supposed to prevent deadly intersection accidents. The cameras take pictures of vehicles that enter an intersection after the light has turned red. A law enforcement officer goes through the photographs and sends citations to drivers caught running red lights. In Palm Beach County, a red-light runner may be fined up to $500, plus $106 in mandatory court costs. It is thought that drivers will not risk these fines in intersections with cameras. Do they work?
Officials say that it depends. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles compared the number of intersection crashes in 73 municipalities both before and after red light cameras were installed. In 56 percent of these communities, there was an overall reduction in intersection accidents. Forty-four percent showed a decrease in side-impact crashes, and 41 percent had a decrease in rear-end accidents.
Boynton Beach is an example. From July to November 2011, accidents at four red-light intersections decreased by 58 percent from the same 5-month period in 2010. Police believe that drivers are more careful because they know they will get caught if they run a red light. Palm Springs, Juno Beach, and Palm Beach County also reported declines in the number of intersection crashes.
These results are similar to findings from a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). IIHS compared crash rates in 14 cities with red cameras to cities without. In the 99 largest cities in the U.S., red light cameras reduced fatal red-light-running accidents by 24 percent.
While red light cameras have decreased accidents in many places, there are exceptions.
In Fort Lauderdale, crashes at red-light intersections doubled. Fort Lauderdale was one of 11 municipalities in Florida that showed an increase in red-light accidents. Broward, Sunrise, and West Park also showed an increase in crashes.
There were no results for Boca Raton as the first red light cameras were installed in August.
If you are injured in a Boca Raton red light accident, you have the right to seek accountability from the driver who caused the crash. To learn more, request a free copy of Boca Raton accident attorney David Glatthorn's book, The Florida Accident Workbook: Tools, Tips & Tactics to Resolve Your Injury Claim or contact David Glatthorn at 866-413-5525 to schedule a free consultation.