Indiana Red Light Cameras Could Save More Lives

camera.jpgA new study indicates to Indiana personal injury lawyers that red light cameras could actually save hundreds of lives in Indiana accidents every year, even as a piece of legislation introduced in the Indiana Senate seeks to allow towns and cities in the state to contract with red light camera companies to catch violators.

It’s almost perfect timing. This week, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released the findings of a new study that indicates that the use of red light cameras would prevent hundreds of red light violation-related accidents every year. The study looked at 14 American cities that had red light cameras installed between 2004 and 2008. The accident statistics of these American cities during this time period were compared to the period from 1992 to 1990, when these cities did not have red light cameras. Further, for comparison purposes, the researchers at the Insurance Institute looked at 48 other American cities that have never had red light cameras.

The findings of the study clearly showed that the number of accidents decreases when cities install red light cameras at accident-prone intersections. In all 14 cities in which the red light cameras were installed, the rate of fatal red light-related accidents fell by 35%, compared to the period between 1992 and 1996, when there were no cameras. In the comparison group of cities that have never had red light cameras, the fatal red light-related accident rate also fell, but only by 14%.

In January, Senate Bill 527 was introduced in the Indiana Senate. The bill aims to allow municipalities in Indiana to contract with private companies to operate red light camera systems. These camera systems have been used to great effect in cities around the US to reduce the number of motorists who run red lights and cause serious crashes. Accidents caused by red light violations are very serious, because these are usually highly injurious or fatal side-impact accidents. The findings of this study should placate critics of red light camera systems in Indiana.