Red light cameras saved 159 lives in 2004-08 in 14 of the biggest US cities, a new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. Had cameras been operating during that period in all large cities, a total of 815 deaths would have been prevented. "The cities that have the courage to use red light cameras despite the political backlash are saving lives," says Institute president Adrian Lund.
National surveys indicate widespread support for red light cameras. At the same time, opponents of automated enforcement have become increasingly vocal, claiming that camera programs are revenue-generating schemes that violate drivers' privacy. "Somehow, the people who get tickets because they have broken the law have been cast as the victims," Lund says. "We rarely hear about the real victims — the people who are killed or injured by these lawbreakers."
Red light running killed 676 people and injured an estimated 113,000 in 2009. Nearly two-thirds of the deaths were people other than the red light running drivers — occupants of other vehicles, passengers in the red light runners' vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
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Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – News Release, Feb 1, 2011
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