Lawmakers Look to Pull Red-Light Cameras from Florida Intersections, Increasing the Risk of Fort Myers car accidents

Red-light cameras may not be as much of an inconvenience as people originally thought as the intersection cameras saved nearly 200 lives in 14 large US cities in a 4-year study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Researchers believe that if these cameras were installed in all cities during that same researched time period, a total of 815 lives could have been saved in intersection car accidents in Fort Myers and elsewhere.

“The cities that have the courage to use red light cameras despite the political backlash are saving lives,” says Adrian Lund, IISH president.

Our Fort Myers personal injury lawyers urge you to be careful when passing through intersections, regardless of the presence of red-light cameras. Intersection accidents are among the deadliest types of crashes.

Never mind these life-saving statistics, some Florida lawmakers want to pull the devices from local intersections. This campaign comes just one year after lawmakers passed a law legalizing these intersection cameras, according to Sun Sentinel. These red-light cameras slap drivers with fines of more than $150 for violating an intersection signal.

Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee voted 12-9 to send HB 4087 to the full House as both the Florida House and Senate are seeking repeal proposals. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, argues that the red-light cameras have actually increased the number of serious traffic accidents at intersections.

“Let’s step back and figure out a way where we can make these intersections safer for our communities,” said Corcoran. Some studies have shown an increase in rear-end collisions, usually temporary, as motorists remember the cameras and slam on their brakes to avoid a ticket.

Overall, the cameras have been shown an effect deterrent in preventing the more deadly broadside collisions. Researchers discovered that fatal accidents at intersections with cameras fell 35 percent, while fatal accident numbers fell 14 percent at intersections without the red-light cameras. The data from this 4-year study was compared to the information provided by a study of intersections conducted between 1992 and 2006.

“Examining a large group of cities over several years allowed us to take a close look at the most serious crashes, the ones that claim people’s lives,” says Anne McCartt, Institute senior vice president for research and a co-author of the study. “Our analysis shows that red light cameras are making intersections safer.”

Based on the results from that study, researchers concluded that the number of fatal red-light running crashes at intersections with cameras was 24 percent lower than it would have been if the intersections didn’t have cameras. They calculated that 74 fewer fatal red-light running crashes would have occurred, or approximately 83 lives would have been saved.

As lawmakers attempt to pull potential life-saving red-light cameras from our Florida intersections, they have also failed to pass any laws banning another dangerous driving habit — text messaging. Florida remains one of the only states left without such a law.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a law firm committed to representing car accident victims throughout South Florida, including Naples, Fort Myers, Sebring and Cape Coral. Call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-800-283-2900.

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