Orlando Sentinel reported recently that the fight over the use of red light cameras has intensified in Florida. Red light cameras take a picture of a driver's license plate if the driver runs a red signal. The picture and a ticket subsequently arrive in the mail.
In 2010, red-light rules were standardized in Florida in the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act. The new Act imposed a standard fine for running a red at $158, $75 of which goes to the local government to share with the camera company. The remaining $83 goes to the Florida Department of Revenue.
Despite the standardization, however, many people continue to fight the widespread use of red light cameras in Florida locales. One often cited reason for this fight is because the use of red light cameras increases rear-end accident risks.
Red Light Cameras Increasing the Risk of Rear-End Accidents
When drivers get ticketed at red light cameras, or they are aware of the potential to be ticketed, they react differently when going through an intersection than they would if there was no possibility a camera would capture their license plate so they could be fined. When drivers approach a light that is changing, they may decide to slam on the brakes rather than go through the signal as they otherwise might.
This interrupts the normal flow of traffic and may be unexpected for the drivers who are behind the vehicle which slammed on the brakes. The driver in the rear vehicle may not have time to stop before he or she hits the car in front that slammed on the brakes to avoid the red light ticket. The driver in the rear vehicle could thus hit the back of the other car - leading not only to inconvenience and property damage, but to potentially serious injuries.
An editorial in the Tampa Bay Times arguing for the continued use of red light cameras acknowledged the fact the cameras were likely increasing the rate of rear-end accidents. While the article tried to downplay the dangers and suggest rear-end collisions aren't as dangerous as alternatives, the fact remains a conscious decision is being made to install cameras despite knowing the crash rates are likely to rise.
Orlando Sentinel reports some courts in certain areas of Florida have recognized problems with the use of red light cameras and some locations have begun suspending the use of the cameras. However, according to the Sentinel, "no Central Florida cities have yet yanked the plug on their program." With red light cameras widespread, it is important for motorists to be aware they could face an increased risk of rear-end accidents when driving at intersections.
If you have been injured, contact Law Office of Scott M. Miller at http://www.scottmillerlawgroup.com or by calling (866) MILLER-5. Serving Longwood, Fla. and Orlando, as well as many other communities in Florida, including Sanford, Altamonte Springs, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Winter Park, Casselberry, Wekiva Springs, Maitland, Lake Mary, Heathrow and Eatonville.