Friday, February 8, 2013

Red-Light Camera Controversy

Red-light cameras are now common across Texas, with at least 35 cities using them to monitor intersections. Over the past two decades, red-light cameras have become familiar as hundreds of cities and towns across the country have installed these high-tech camera systems to catch people rolling through right turns or driving through intersections on a light that's already turned red.

The initial reason for the cameras was based on statistical data that showed almost half of all car crashes that cause injuries happen at intersections, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In order to decrease the number of crashes in intersections, red-light cameras offer tickets as the punishment handed down fr breaking the law. Drivers who run red lights are responsible for about 2 percent of all fatal accidents a year. In 2009, that number equaled 676 fatalities, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

There's also little disagreement that red-light cameras work. One example of research supporting that assertion is a June 2011 report by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University. It found that cameras at 275 state intersections they studied were effective in reducing crashes.

According to the Texas Tribune, some red-light camera in Dallas earn upwards of $650,000 in annual revenue. Wile these cameras are decreasing the number of crashes, they have become cash-cows for cities.

So we must ask, what's you opinion on the matter? Do you believe that red-light cameras are safety devices that keep our roads safer, or just another revenue for city government?

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