CHARLOTTE, NC (August 5, 2016) – New research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that red-light camera programs in 79 large U.S. cities saved nearly 1,300 lives through 2014. The new research also showed that when cities turn off the cameras, traffic deaths go up by nearly a third.
“AAA Carolinas supports the efforts of IIHS to educate the public on the importance of red-light cameras,” said AAA Carolinas President and CEO Dave Parsons. “Red-light cameras enhance the safety of our communities and help reduce traffic fatalities.”
Motorists who run red lights are at risk for a T-bone crash, which are the type of accident highly likely to result in serious injury or a fatality. IIHS’s study showed that cities who turned off their red-light cameras found a large increase in fatal crashes, due to the severity of T-bone crashes. In 2014, red-light-running crashes caused 709 deaths and an estimated 126,000 injuries.
In recent years, cities have been ending red-light programs due to complaints that they are more focused on making money than improving safety. Still other cities have terminated their programs due to statutory requirements regarding the distribution of fines which has rendered their safety program economically unsustainable. Since 2012, the number of communities offering red-light programs has dropped from 533 to 467.
AAA supports the use of red-light cameras when they are used for intersections in need of them, particularly intersections where data has shown a high number of accidents and/or fatalities occur. AAA also recommends that the money collected through the program should be used solely for traffic safety related programs including operating the red-light cameras themselves.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.9 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.