New Texas Study Says Red Light Cameras Save Lives

Five people were injured in El Paso, Texas last month after an early-morning crash caused by a driver who ran a red light. According to police, a sedan was attempting to make a left turn from northbound Horizon Boulevard to Gateway West, when it was struck by a wagon headed down the southbound lane of Horizon Boulevard. The wagon failed to stop for a red light.

Although the wagon caught fire, all three occupants were able to exit the vehicle safely. Unfortunately, all five of the sedan's occupants were transported to the hospital, two with life-threatening injuries from the El Paso auto accident.

Unfortunately, this story is not that uncommon. Drivers running red lights cause more than 100,000 car accidents and over 1,000 deaths in the United States every year. Adding insult to injury, liability is often hard to prove in these cases, since the at-fault driver will frequently claim to have had a green light.

texas red light cameras reduce accidents

The state of Texas is taking steps to curb these problems. Starting in 2007, it began operating a system of cameras that snap a photo whenever a driver runs a red light. The photos are then sent to vehicle owners, accompanied by a hefty fine.

A new study released by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University shows that these cameras do much more than preserve vital evidence in the event of a crash - they actually help reduce the rate of auto accidents caused by drivers who run red lights.

The study looked at data from 275 monitored intersections throughout the state of Texas and compared crash data from the two years prior to the cameras' installation to data from the first two years the system was operational. It found that red light-related accidents fell by 27 percent in the two years since the cameras were installed.

Experts say that the cameras are effective because the threat of receiving a ticket makes drivers more aware of their behavior.

despite cameras in texas/, red light crashes still frequent

Despite these improvements, the study still reported over 1,000 red light-related crashes in the two-year period following the cameras' installation - and this figure encompasses merely a small fraction of all of the intersections in Texas. Unfortunately, many drivers still don't pay attention and end up hurting others.

Texans who are hurt in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver may be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries. They would be wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help them understand their rights.