How many of you have experienced going to your mailbox and finding a ticket issued courtesy of a red light camera? These sneaky machines have become popular in high traffic areas across the country, but also controversial in both their legality and in the motivations of the elected officials who choose to install them.
Houston discontinued their use of these cameras after they were voted down in a 2010 referendum. And now the Houston Police Department and the city's public safety officials are presenting some findings that perhaps the cameras were actually an effective deterrent.
In the years 2006 to 2010, during which time red light cameras were in place at fifty of Houston's busiest intersections, there were around 4100 crashes at these locations. In the past four years, with the cameras removed, there have been closer to 9000 crashes and a thirty percent increase in accidents that resulted in at least one fatality. Looking at these numbers on their own, it appears that drivers were more likely to stop for the yellow warning light or at least be more aware as the light turned red when the financial consequence of a traffic ticket was looking right over their heads.
Critics of this study argue that the data is being manipulated in order to gain popular opinion for what was a profitable stream of income for the city. The Houston Police Department brought in around $10 million a year with cameras in place and with a growing population, the need for funding is only going to increase.
Whether the result of an ignored red light or a cell phone distraction or just careless driving, if you have been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another, you deserve to be compensated for what happened. Please contact the attorneys at Bertolino LLP today and tell us your story. We will stand by your side and work tirelessly to get you justice.
What are your thoughts on red light cameras? Do you see them as an important safety tool or an unfair intrusion?