Many cities implemented red light cameras with the idea of mitigating car accidents and keeping intersections safe. However, this initiative has now been tainted with a suggestion of corruption when it became a new revenue stream for many municipalities. Red light cameras have been appealing in that cities can generate money without requiring additional officers to keep watch on intersections.
What Is The REAL Problem With Red Light Cameras?
The problem is, however, that there is little evidence to suggest that red light cameras make intersections safer. Despite this lack of evidence, many municipalities still push for their installation because of the revenue they generate.
To address this problem, the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that seeks to withhold state funds from these cities and counties under a dollar-for-dollar scheme equivalent to the revenues that the cameras have gained.
Are Red Light Cameras Actually Safer?
The bigger problem with red light cameras are claims that suggest they add a layer of safety, a questionable conclusion since there is evidence suggesting otherwise. Motorists rarely run red lights even without police or red-light cameras around. With red light cameras around, however, drivers often slam on their brakes once the yellow light is on out of fear of triggering the red-light camera. This reaction has led to many rear-end accidents. There are also concerns about cities trying to monetize the cameras as much as possible. Some cities are reported as trying to lower the threshold of their yellow lights to three seconds. Shorter yellow light times meant more fines and revenues.
While cities may think that red light cameras are beneficial due to increased revenue, this initiative has hit poorer residents the most, those least able to pay. With increased number of accidents and issues, red light cameras have now become a topic of debate for many areas including Ohio. The move by Ohio legislators to cut back on red light cameras may be beneficial and can serve as an example to other cities. If public safety is truly their priority then continuing red light cameras without the revenue should not be a problem. If navigating red light camera fines and penalties has you confused, then it’s best to talk to a personal injury lawyer about it. They can tell you which fines are applicable including how to avoid falling victim to this kind of trap.
Find out more about red light cameras and corresponding legislation with The Fitch Law Firm.