NCSR insists red-light cameras prevent collisions [video]
Despite highly vocal opponents, police departments, traffic officials, road safety advocates and other partner organizations advocate the cameras, as evidence of their life-saving effectiveness mounts in over 540 communities across the country.
"Red-light running is dangerous and all too often deadly," said Melissa Wandall, traffic safety advocate and NCSR President. "We have the tools available to reduce red-light running and positively change driver behavior. In honor of all those people whose lives were taken far too soon — including my husband Mark — I am proud to be a voice in the fight for these cameras and the crucial safety benefits they bring to our communities."
A 2011 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study of major U.S. cities states safety cameras lowered the incidence of red-light fatalities by 24 percent.
Another recent IIHS study performed in Arlington, VA revealed the number of drivers running red lights decreased significantly at intersections with cameras. The study reports an 86 percent decline in the worst violations occurring 1.5 seconds after the light turns red.
Wherever red-light cameras clearly make intersections safer, communities invariably support their use. In the Pohatcong Township of New Jersey last fall, 56 percent of the citizens voted to continue use of the cameras beyond the 2016 expiration of the initial authorization.
Florida recently reported a matching 56 percent of communities recorded a reduction in crashes at intersections with safety cameras. Furthermore, a portion of the fines identified red-light runners pay go to Florida trauma centers and research centers for paralysis, many of whom treat victims of red-light involved collisions who frequently suffer life-threatening injuries.
Melissa Wandall was largely responsible for the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act in Florida, honoring her husband who died the victim of a red-light scofflaw. This law mandated the camera program, as well as ensuring some of the resultant funds would go to benefit the victims of car crashes.
More on Florida's programs and the Wandall Safety Act can be seen in the video below.
"People who illegally run red lights and put everyone sharing the roadways in danger should be held accountable for their reckless actions," said Wandall. "Often these offenders will be angry for getting caught and play the victim. But the true victims are those people who lose their lives in red-light running collisions and the ones they leave behind."
That is the voice of experience speaking – one to which we all should listen and think of when we next approach a yellow light that has lingered for a count of two.