Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Debate over Traffic Cameras Continues to Rage

This November, the city of Anaheim, California will go to vote over a proposed ban on red light camera systems. It is one of several cities around the country that are moving to challenge traffic camera enforcement to enforce laws and reduce accidents. This is even as other communities across the country are moving to install red light and speeding camera systems in order to prevent accidents.

The biggest objection to these camera systems is that they have evolved into a revenue generation measure for local law enforcement officers. Many people believe that authorities are using the excuse of highway safety in order to pump up revenues. This complaint has become even more vocal during a recession, when hard-pressed law enforcement agencies around the country are looking at traffic camera systems as a means of generating revenue.

However, opposing red light camera systems and speeding camera systems that have been proven to reduce crashes just because they make a lot of money for local authorities, is a little like throwing the baby out with the bath water. There is no denying that the systems do generate huge revenue for local law enforcement authorities wherever they are installed. It's also true that in many communities, the fact that these systems can generate revenue has been one of the primary factors pushing law enforcement authorities to install them.

However, the fact is also that there are several studies showing that both red light camera systems and speeding cameras reduce some kinds of accidents. One study has found that communities that have red light camera systems installed, see an approximately 25% decrease in broadside accidents. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the installation of speeding cameras reduced accidents by approximately 9% to 15%.

The evidence that these systems seem to help reduce some kinds of crashes is too strong for any complaints about their revenue-generating powers. To a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, it seems like much of the argument against red light camera systems and speeding cameras seems to be driven by those who see no harm in violating traffic rules and breaking speeding limits, very often to the detriment of their own safety or the safety of others.

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