Red-light running is a top cause of auto accidents in Florida and nationwide. This is why many cities in Florida have installed red-light cameras to take digital photographs of vehicles that run red lights and violate the law. The City of Sarasota has outfitted several of their known dangerous intersections with high-resolution high-speed digital cameras to take pictures of those intersections; when a vehicle runs a red light, the sensor is activated and a picture documents the violation. The City of Sarasota Police Department then reviews every red light camera violation before they issue a Notice of Violation to the driver involved.
Effects of Running a Red Light
The red-light camera program was put in place when the state passed a law called the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act. Mark Wandall, a Sarasota resident, was a victim of a red-light crash in Florida. Sadly, a driver ran a red light and hit and killed him, leaving his pregnant wife alone to give birth to their child just two weeks later. After this law passed, it allowed all jurisdictions in Florida to have red-light cameras.
Effects of Traffic-Light Cameras on Car Accidents
According to a 2011 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report, cites with red-light cameras had a decrease in red-light accidents. Also, vendors of traffic-light cameras believe the system prevents drivers from becoming repeat red-light offenders, as approximately 96% of the violators who paid their tickets have not received a second violation. Cities believe more and more drivers are becoming aware of the cameras and are driving more carefully.
The Sarasota Police Department said that 48 percent of traffic fatalities in Sarasota occurred at traffic signals from October 2005 – October 2010. They believe there is overwhelming evidence that equipping intersections with red-light cameras makes Sarasota safer. While police and many city officials believe that this program contributes to a safer city—one with fewer accidents—others argue that this program is just a way for the city to make money.
The debate of red-light cameras is heating up again. University of South Florida researchers say the cameras do not make the roads safer and the Florida House of Representatives is considering a repeal of the law that authorized red-light cameras. The concerns are that many people slam on their brakes at yellow lights causing needless rear-end accidents; in addition some have question the constitutionality of the law. However, the IIHS study indicates that red-light cameras do save lives.
If you have been injured by a red-light runner in a South Florida intersection accident, please call a qualified Sarasota accident attorney at the Mallard Law Firm today at 888-409-3805 for a free consultation, and request a copy of our free book What You Need to Know After a Florida Auto, Truck or Bike Accident.