New Research from the IIHS Proves Red Light Camera Programs Save Lives
While surveys routinely show people support the use of red light cameras, pressure from a small but vocal minority of citizens claiming red light cameras are used as revenue generators has caused many communities to turn them off. Unfortunately, this mistake can cost lives. A recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) covering red light photo enforcement programs in 79 cities showed the cameras saved nearly 1,300 lives through 2014; while shutting them off has caused the number of fatal red-light-running crashes to jump by nearly 30 percent. To establish best practices for red light cameras, community leaders from around the nation attended a forum recently at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center. Speakers included representatives of law enforcement, as well as municipal and state governments, highway safety advocates and researchers. Many focused on the importance of creating public understanding of red light camera programs as a safety tool, rather than a revenue generator. For example, red light runners themselves are the minority of the people killed in such crashes. Rather, most fatalities are occupants of other vehicles, passengers in the red-light-running vehicles, pedestrians or bicyclists. Sharing this information with the public at large can help bolster the support of red light cameras, and may incite communities that have turned off their cameras to reinstate their programs. Click here to learn more about red light research and the July forum.