IIHS Study Reveals Red Light Cameras Save Lives

IIHS Study Reveals Red Light Cameras Save Lives

Turning off red light cameras can cost lives, a new study has revealed.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found that red light cameras in 79 large U.S. cities saved nearly 1,300 lives through 2014. According to IIHS, shutting down the red light cameras resulted in an increase of 30 percent in fatal red-light-running crashes.

In 2014, red-light-running crashes caused 709 deaths and an estimated 126,000 injuries, with red-light runners accounting for a minority of the people killed in such crashes. Unfortunately, most of those killed in those crashes are occupants of other vehicles, passengers in the vehicle running the red light, pedestrians or bicyclists.

SEE ALSO: Congressman Wants to Ban Red Light Cameras

The study found that automated enforcement deters red light running, and since cameras increase the odds that violators will get caught, it discourages would-be violators from taking the odds. Programs that support red light cameras however are declining in the U.S., with opposition from a vocal minority leading to some jurisdictions to shut off their cameras. The total number of communities using red light cameras peaked in 2012 at 533 and has since fallen to 467 last year.

“We know we have a problem: people dying at signalized intersections because of people running red lights,” said IIHS president Adrian Lund as he presented the new research at a red-light-camera forum hosted by the Institute. “We know red light cameras are part of the solution.”

  • smartacus

    of course IIHS is going to find in the cameras’ favor

  • My main concern is with the accountability of those doing the review. Because most red-light cameras are installed and reviewed by third parties, most jurisdictions administrate them as “civil infractions,” meaning that they sidestep proper burden of proof and citizens’ right to face their accusers. If there were laws requiring the same burden of proof and other accountability steps, I would be less against red-light cameras. However, I also insist on laws requiring a longer yellow light and signage well in advance of the intersection advising not only of the cameras, but of the need to be ready to stop when the light is yellow (as traffic laws state in most places).

    The current red light camera regime is a scam. The decrease in fatalities is a fortunate byproduct.

  • smartacus

    and i’ve seen evidence before about red light cameras actually increasing rear end collisions.
    When did our yellow lights get so short?

    Someday we will regale our grandkids with the fantasy legend of the yellow light between green and red.

  • Shiratori1

    I don’t buy it. There have been several other studies indicating that the cameras INCREASE the number of accidents at intersections where they are placed.