The following results are compelling, and the conclusion to be drawn is unmistakable – remote enforcement of traffic laws, through the use of intersection cameras, needs to be implemented in as many intersections as appropriate.
A new study recently put out by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has confirmed what many of us have suspected all along – red light cameras at busy intersections serve to reduce collisions and save lives. This particular study is noteworthy because it considered 14 of our nations’ largest cities – those with a population greater than 200,000 – and gathered data over a 5 year period, from 2004 to the end of 2008. The results of the study, though perhaps not surprising, were certainly significant.
In cities where cameras were installed a 35% reduction in fatalities associated with red light running was observed; in cities in which no cameras were operational, a 14% reduction was observed. The net result, clearly, is that 24% fewer fatal car crashes occurred during the relevant time frame. In real numbers, this is 83 people who are alive today thanks to those cameras. And this is just for the 14 cities studied. Had these cameras been in effect throughout the country during this same 5 year period, an estimated 815 moms, dads, brothers and sisters would be alive today.
There are additional benefits to remote enforcement as well. Not only are lives saved, but an estimated 113,000 injuries to pedestrians, passengers and bicyclists could be avoided through an enactment of rigorous intersection camera policy. Further, in an age when cities are strapped for cash and overtime pay to police officers and firemen is almost a nonstarter, it should be emphatically argued that they have better things to do with their time than physically monitor intersection activity.
Finally, there are absolutely no convincing arguments which might dissuade a city management team from adopting remote enforcement measures. One particularly absurd example being perpetuated is the claim that these cameras are an infringement on personal privacy. This is complete nonsense, if for no other reason than the fact that the intersections are situated on public domain, and therefore any reasonable expectation of privacy becomes immediately null and void.