Government studies estimate that about 800 people are killed each year from running red lights and another 200,000 are injured. In a survey done by Old Dominion University, one out of three people know someone who has been injured or killed in an accident due to red light running. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, about one-half of the people killed are not the violators themselves, but rather innocent drivers or pedestrians passing through the intersection.
Between 1992 and 1998, there was an 18% increase in the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents due to drivers running red lights. Most red light runners tend to be younger, less likely to wear a seatbelt, and tend to have a history of traffic violations. In 1982, a highly publicized accident involving a red light runner striking an 18-month-old in a stroller led to the development and widespread implementation of cameras that capture offenders.
The cameras are designed to capture a snapshot of a vehicle as it passes through the intersection after the light has turned red. If caught by the camera, law enforcement officials will examine the photograph, determine if a law has been broken, and mail the ticket to the offending party. If the driver of the vehicle is not the owner, a car accident lawyer may help to investigate who was the driver and whether there is an automobile insurance policy to recover against.
Widespread studies have indicated that red light cameras are effective at reducing traffic accidents at intersections where the cameras are placed. If you’ve been injured, it’s vital to seek legal counsel from a car accident attorney. A car accident lawyer who practices in this area can inform you of your legal rights and advise you on seeking compensation.