There have been major accidents throughout the United States that have produced over 100,000 crashes and roughly 1,000 deaths in the past. In 1979 Ken Fishel was at the intersection of 436 and highway 50 when a woman ran a red light causing him to T-Bone the passenger side of her vehicle. Ken ended up with serious injuries consisting of whip lash and a mild concussion to the head. While the women escaped the accident with minor injuries this could been easily prevented (interview). To combat this problem the United States has placed Red light cameras at certain intersections across the states.
Safety should always be the top priority on the road, and one way of limiting car accidents is for everyone to make sure they always stop at a red light. Since these cameras have been in place accidents and death tolls have decreased tremendously. The government should continue the use of red light cameras at intersections throughout the United States. Getting a citation in the mail is more beneficial than getting a ticket from a Law Enforcement Officer. According to Aaron D. Delgado, when a citation is issued, “No one is notified at the police department.
No traffic citation is issued. No points on your license. No risk that your insurance company raises your rates” (web). These citations are less expensive than receiving a ticket from a Law Enforcement Officer for running a red light. Another reason these cameras are beneficial for individuals is because these citations will never be put on his/her driving record. If you receive a citation from a red light camera the citation comes with no points on your record, compared to receiving a ticket from a Law Enforcement Officer which gives you four points on your driving record.
On the other hand a citation in Florida will only cost you $ 158. 00, versus a ticket which will cost $ 262. 00. Red light cameras were first placed in certain states by a manufacturing company affiliated in the state of New York. Therefore once a citation is issued and the citation is paid by the offender, New York will then take their share and give the rest to the state where the offence has occurred. After the state where the offence occurred takes their portion of the money they will then decide how to spend their portion.
According to the Tampa city council in Florida, seventy five dollars goes to the city and eighty three dollars goes to the state. All states, as well as cities, spend their portion of their money in different ways. According to John F. Hill, “Mayor Randon Lane confirmed… that the city would pursue the idea and donate any future revenue. Details haven’t been worked out yet, but Lane said the money could go to local charities that apply for federal Community Development Block Grant money, which the city council doles out annually” (web).
Red light cameras earn millions of dollars every year in revenue, and are consistently on the rise. In the state of Florida, a staggering amount of approximately $ 52 million dollars was earned from red light camera citations in the past year. Compared to the past five years when the state of Florida made a lower but substantial amount of approximately ninety million dollars. The main reason red light cameras were placed at intersections was for safety reason. Since they have been placed the number of accidents has reduced in a tremendous amount.
When people are aware of these cameras they are more apt to slow down and stop when the light turns yellow, where as in the past people were more prone to run a red light. There were more accidents in the past, when people ran yellow and/or red lights. According to Ashley Hasley “… the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds that traffic fatalities at those intersections dropped by 26 percent over a five-year period, slightly more than the average deadline in 13 other camera-equipped cities” (web).
Many of the cases in which people ran a red light was becasue they were in a hurry and thought they were saving time by running these red lights. Other drivers who run red lights may have been on a cell phone devise, eating food, or maybe even putting makeup on. Many of these accidents by drivers who chose to run red lights resulted in serious injury and or death. Since these red light cameras were installed people have become more aware and cautious about running red lights. After a person has received a citation by one of these cameras they are more apt to learn from this experience to slow down and not run a red light.
Putting these cameras at intersections have taught people a valuable lesson that the yellow light means to slow before the red light appears which means to stop. Not only do these cameras save time and lives but they also relieve the state from having to hire more police officers to patrol intersections for red light runners. These officers can spend their time on other important things like offenders committing larger crimes. The red light camera acts as a supplement to the Law Enforcement Officers who cannot be everywhere all at once. With only a certain amount of officers on patrol there is no possible way they can catch all offenders.
With this the outcome always ends in a police officer showing up after an individual has run a red light usually ending in serious injury or a fatal outcome. Individuals are more prone to stop when they know there is a police officer around to pull them over with a ticket following. Without enough police officers patrolling each and every intersection people are more than likely to run a red light. With the red light cameras taking the place of officers 24/7 it relieves officers so they can attend other important violations and helps in the reduction of red light runners.
If the government continued placing red light cameras at intersections throughout the United States red light runners would be decreased or even eliminated. This can be achieved with a modest amount of time, money, and support from American citizens. So far these cameras have been extremely beneficial in certain areas akin to safety, revenue, cost, and acting as a supplement. Since 1994 on average there has been a sixty five percent decrease in red light running violations. If each state would implement these red light cameras there would surely be a decrease in traffic casualties from red light runners.
Courtney from Study Moose
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