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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Red-light cameras save lives but have not gained public support

In a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 42.7% of respondents admitted to running a red light at least once in the previous 30 days. This was in spite of the fact that 92.9% of respondents acknowledged that running a red light is wrong. Drivers in Montana should know that red-light running crashes claim the lives of hundreds of people every year.

There is a solution, though. Traffic-enforcement cameras have been shown to cut down on red-light running violations by 40% and crash deaths by 21%, at least when comparing large cities with cameras to large cities without them. But the way some cities implement these cameras has been a cause of concern for many.

After all, red-light cameras can help generate revenue for a city. In 2014, Chicago had the most cameras of any U.S. city paired with the shortest allowable duration for its yellow lights. This meant more traffic tickets, and it also meant more rear-end collisions as drivers slammed their brakes to avoid the cameras.

Public support can be built up, though, if communities publicize the early stages of the planning and installation phase and make it clear where the cameras are located. Signage should warn drivers at these intersections. Community members should be involved in the reviewing of the camera programs, too.

When car crashes arise because of drivers who break a traffic law, those who are injured through little or no fault of their own can have good grounds for a personal injury case. In this state, victims are eligible for compensation if their degree of fault is less than the defendant's. However, this does not guarantee a fair outcome for the case, so victims may want a lawyer to assist them, especially with gathering evidence and negotiating a settlement.

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