Over morning coffee I was watching an early morning news show that discussed red light cameras. These are cameras that are put up at intersections and catch motorists running red lights. Their car, license plate and often times even their own faces are caught running the red light. The municipality then sends them a ticket and the video/photo is evidence.
Undoubtedly, running red lights is dangerous. The statistics vary but this particular story indicated that 800 deaths per year are caused by people running red lights while tens of thousands of others are injured because of people either intentionally or inadvertently running red lights. The focus of the news story was whether there were other things that could be done to decrease the number of accidents, injuries and deaths or are these red light cameras nothing more than a source of income for municipalities.
The studies were staggering, some cities made millions of dollars a year in citing red light violators. However, some no longer have the red light cameras. There were questions if the cameras made the intersections safer. According to studies, broadside or “T-bone” accidents were decreased but rear-end accidents were increased at intersections with red light cameras. On the other hand, lengthening the time for the yellow light substantially decreased the number of people going through intersections and red lights and substantially decreasing accidents and injuries.
The focus of this blog is to not criticize red light cameras. The bottom line is that people should pay attention as they are approaching intersections and should not be running red lights. Undoubtedly, when people do there will be accidents, injuries and in some situations deaths. That is unacceptable. The point is that if each individual driver accepts responsibility they will slow down as they approach these intersections and when they see a yellow light, instead of accelerating they will apply their brakes. Each individual, if they take responsibility for the safe operation of their vehicle, can be the best deterrent to red light accidents. On the other hand, if municipalities can do things like increase the length of the yellow light, apparently having a significant positive impact, then it should be done.
Regardless of what is ultimately decided, some drivers continue to make bad decisions. These drivers will run red lights. This means that there will continue to be intersection accidents. If you, a loved one or friend have been injured by a driver running a red light, please call us for a no cost, no obligation consultation at any of the numbers listed below. I have been representing people injured because of the negligent operation of motor vehicles for more than 27 years and accept these cases on a contingency fee basis which means there are no fees or costs unless and only until there is a recovery.
Drive carefully but if an accident happens and injuries occur call me to discuss your rights. In our Madison office at (608) 824-8540, Baraboo office at (608) 356-3961 or statewide at (866) 455-2993. Please feel free to check out our website for more information at https://khtlawyers.com.