When West Palm Beach Drivers Ignore Traffic Signals
Accidents caused by drivers who ignore traffic signals happen far too often in West Palm Beach and throughout Florida. In many cases, drivers who run red lights do so because they are in a hurry. They may see the light turn yellow and speed up. Others may run straight through a red light.
Red light running can also be attributed to distracted driving, impaired driving, and excessive speeding. When accidents occur, crash victims often have little time to take evasive measures. Moreover, broadside or T-bone accidents are very common when drivers run red lights.
What’s Causing The Increase In Red Light Runners?
According to The Drive, fatal accidents caused by drivers who run red lights increased by 17 percent between 2012 and 2016. In 2012, there were approximately 696 road deaths caused by red light runners. However, by 2016 that number rose to 811 – the highest since 2007, which saw 914 deaths.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) places most of the blame on the 21 percent decrease in red light cameras nationwide from 2012 to 2018. During that time, the number of red-light camera programs dropped from 533 to 421. Joining IIHS in a combined effort, the American Automobile Association (AAA), Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the National Safety Council are pushing for more red-light cameras.
According to IIHS, Florida currently has red light cameras installed across the state. Drivers caught running red lights can be fined $158. While there currently aren’t any red-light cameras in West Palm Beach, they are installed at intersections in Boynton Beach. According to the Sun Sentinel, roughly 3,000 red light runners were caught and cited within weeks of reactivating the cameras in 2017.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
In 2018, Florida ranked No. 3 in the nation for having the most hit-and-run fatalities per capita, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). When an at-fault driver leaves the scene of a crash, red-light cameras would capture the vehicle’s license plate.
However, obtaining such video for the purpose of building a claim can cost around $400. Accident victims would have to file a Freedom of Information Act request or hire an attorney to subpoena the video footage. One driver had to learn that the hard way after a hit-and-run accident in West Palm Beach. In order to receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages after a hit-and-run, accident victims would have to add Uninsured Motorist Coverage to their insurance policy.
While these complications can be frustrating, we believe that safety needs to be our first priority, and red-light cameras can indeed improve safety. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a driver who ran a red light, you may be entitled to compensation. It’s important that you discuss the details of your crash with an experienced West Palm Beach auto accident attorney.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.