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Focus on Safety: Fatal Intersection Motor Vehicle Crashes Reduced

The Atlanta, Georgia region has many intersections with red light cameras that monitor potential offenders who might otherwise go undetected. The big news this week is that red light cameras are saving lives by lowering the number of motor vehicle crashes at intersections using these cameras.

The Study
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has issued a study report that included 14 major cities with red light cameras and compared statistics of fatal crashes in cities that do not have these cameras. The study included a broad look at 99 cities with populations over 200,000 and then compared fatal crashes between 2004-2008 and 1992-1996, the latter period being prior to the use of red light camera programs.

The study’s objective was to: “estimate the effects of red light camera enforcement on per capita fatal crash rates at intersections with signal lights.” The result is that the red light cameras have reduced fatal accidents by 24 percent. And in cities using these cameras, fatal intersection crashes that did not include running red lights were reduced as well.

According to the study, 159 lives were saved with the use of cameras and concludes that over the same period, 815 lives could have been saved if more major cities used this tool. It is thought that drivers pay more attention at intersections they know have cameras and slow down to avoid running a red light.

Some Concerns About Red Light Cameras
The AAA has voiced concerns that these systems can be abused as “revenue generators” rather than lifesavers. Others argue that in fact rear-end crashes have increased due to these cameras and still others voice concern that automating law enforcement removes the human element that enables drivers with special circumstances to explain their situation to an officer.

Study Conclusion: Red Light Cameras Reduce Fatal Crashes
The study’s final conclusion states a good case for the use of these computerized systems: “Red light camera enforcement programs reduce the citywide rate of fatal red light running crashes and, to a lesser but still significant extent, the rate of all fatal crashes at signalized intersections. Cities wishing to reduce fatal crashes at signalized intersections should consider red light camera enforcement.”

As we drive in the Atlanta, Georgia area, we need to pay attention to weather conditions, stoplights and other rules of the road. It is vital that we put driving safety at the top of our motoring list, because we all want to avoid injury to ourselves and to others.

If you have been in a motor vehicle accident at an intersection or elsewhere, it is very important to contact the advice and support of a dedicated Atlanta, Georgia car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact the Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C., for a free consultation and case evaluation at one of our convenient locations in Duluth, Decatur, Buckhead or the Perimeter.

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