Fewer Chicago car accidents are being reported at intersections as red-light cameras are being credited for reducing fatal intersection accidents by 24 percent in 14 of the nation’s largest cities, ABC7 reported.
As our Chicago personal injury lawyers reported last year, red-light cameras at Chicago intersections number about 200, with plans to install the cameras at numerous intersections in suburbia. Detractors say the cameras increase the risk of rear-end collisions, are an invasion of privacy, and are in place to provide millions in citation revenue to local governments.
However, Time Magazine reports the study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded the cameras have saved 159 lives in the last five years and would have saved 815 lives had they been installed in the nation’s 99 cities with populations over 200,000.
“The cities that have the courage to use red light cameras despite the political backlash are saving lives,” says Institute president Adrian Lund.
The study found 22 fewer fatal Chicago car accidents were blamed on red-light runners with the cameras in operation from 2004 to 2008 than the 69 deaths that were reported from 1992 to 1996. A reduction of 32 percent. And, perhaps debunking the myth of the increase in rear-end collisions, the report found the total number of fatal intersection crashes also declined slightly, from 175 to 170.
However, don’t count the ACLU among the supporters. Forbes Magazine reports Chicago’s emergency management officials are busy defending the cameras after an ACLU report blasted the network over privacy concerns and a lack of regulations.
To that end, the IIHS argues traffic offenders should not be portrayed as victims.
“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 runners killed 676 people and injured more than 113,000 in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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