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Is Chicago’s Plan To Remove Red Light Cameras A Good Thing?

Red Light Cameras... Good or BadChicago’s Plan to Remove Red Light Cameras

Running through red light cameras in Chicago can cost a pretty penny. The government imposes fees of $35 to $100 for failing to stop at a red light, which is currently recorded through video surveillance measures. However, drivers on the road may no longer have to worry about paying these high fees as City Hall will be removing 36 of its red-light cameras. The cameras will be removed in areas that have been successful in reducing the number of crashes due to running red lights.

There will still be a significant number of red-light cameras left located throughout Chicago. There will be 348 red-light cameras located 172 intersections throughout the city. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stated that automated traffic enforcement that utilizes video surveillance is intended to change drivers’ behavior. Because the number of crashes have been reduced in certain areas of Chicago, there is no longer a need to maintain red-light cameras. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has also stated that there is an “enhanced level of safety” in these areas. Only time will tell whether auto accidents will continue to be low in areas in which red-light cameras are said to have altered drivers’ behavior.

Could the Removal Lead to More Auto Accidents?

Chicago Inspector Joe Ferguson has stated that there has been no evidence to support the city’s claim that red-light cameras have already reduced accidents in dangerous intersections. It seems that removing these red-light cameras could actually cause auto accident rates to increase again. When red-light cameras are removed within just a few years of being installed, they may only serve a short-term fix and may not serve to decrease accident rates for the long term.

Current Research Statistics on the Benefits of Red Light Cameras in Reducing Auto Accidents

Research statistics have revealed that consistent, long-term use of red-light cameras does have the ability to reduce auto accident rates. A research study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that red light running rates declined in those areas that were equipped with cameras. A 2011 IIHS research study has found that longstanding red light cameras were able to reduce fatal running crashes by 24 percent in large cities. In addition, all types of fatal crashes at intersections were reduced by 17 percent in those large cities that consistently used red-light cameras.

People are less likely to be reckless or negligent on the road if they know that there is a potential that they could pay a high fine for such behavior. It seems that people are more careful in paying attention to red lights when they know that the government is keeping an eye on their driving behavior. In areas that implement ticketing and issue citations for violations caught on camera, the IIHS has found that violations were 39 percent less likely to occur than they would if cameras were not in the area.

What to Do if You Are Involved in an Auto Accident in Chicago

If you are involved in a red light accident at an intersection, it is important to see whether a red light camera has recorded any information of the accident. You should also try to record any information that you can with your own smartphone or other recording device. Taking photographs of your injuries and damage to your vehicle is essential. If you have a video camera installed in your camera, then you may be able to ensure that a court has access to evidence that another person struck you on the road. In addition, you should make sure that you receive medical help as soon as possible from a doctor and discuss your injuries with him or her. It is important that all of your injuries are recorded so that you can claim any damages that you incur.

Getting Help from Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers

Chicago personal injury lawyers are also able to help you in the event that you are involved in a red light accident. Intersection accidents may become more prevalent as more red-light cameras are removed from Chicago streets, so it is important for you to stand up for your legal rights. Get help from our Chicago personal injury lawyers today or schedule a free consultation.