Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons but when a person drives their vehicle through a red light they are putting themselves and other drivers or pedestrians in grave danger. Studies have found that on average, an intersection sees a motorist run a red light every 20 minutes. In 2012, 683 people were killed and 133,000 were injured in crashes that involved red light running.

Red Light Running Defined

A red light running violation occurs when a driver enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. In intersections where a right turn on a red light is permitted, drivers are expected to come to a complete stop before turning; failure to do so could be considered running a red light.

Red Light Cameras

Red light cameras have been implemented in many cities and are an effective way to reduce red-light running violations. In general, people follow rules more closely when law enforcement is present but it is clearly not viable to have a police presence at every intersection. Red light cameras work by taking a picture of the person and license plate when the vehicle enters an intersection after the light has turned red. IIHS conducted a series of studies on red-light traffic violations in different communities and found that red light violations are reduced by 40 percent after red-light cameras were installed. As a bonus, red-light running was also reduced by similar rates in nearby intersections that did not have cameras.

Red light cameras should not be considered a violation of privacy as we cannot expect privacy on a public road. Additionally, driving is a regulated activity and we are obligated to follow the rules of the road or face tickets. A red light camera acts as a replacement for traditional law enforcement.

In 2013, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a national telephone survey and found that in cities without red light cameras, 93 percent of drivers said that it was unacceptable to run a red light if it was possible to stop safely but 35 percent of respondents had run a red light in the past 30 days. In cities with long-standing red light cameras in place, 93 percent of respondents said that running a red light was unacceptable but only 7 percent admitted to running a red light in the past month.

Some industry studies indicate that as a group, red light runners are more likely to be young, male, less likely to wear seat belts, and have poor driving records with multiple convictions or alcohol related convictions on their records. Of the red light runners who caused an accident, they were also more likely to be speeding or driving while impaired at the time of the crash and less likely to have a valid driver’s license.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!

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