In the early 2000s, cities nationwide, including many in Virginia, began installing red light cameras to catch drivers who were speeding through red lights and to prevent accidents at intersections where drivers go through red lights. Instead of reducing the number of accidents by making drivers think twice before going through a red light, it has actually caused an increase in rear-end collisions. When drivers see that a red light camera is installed in the approaching intersection, they slam on their brakes to stop, whereas before, they would have gone through the light. When someone slams on their brakes suddenly, anyone who is behind them is not prepared to stop as quickly and a rear-end collision occurs.
Drivers will do anything to avoid getting a red light camera ticket, and that includes slamming on their brakes when they see a light quickly change to red. While red light cameras may be preventing horrific accidents in intersections, they are actually causing an increased number of accidents in general, especially rear-end collisions. Thus, drivers may be saving $75 or more, depending on the jurisdiction, on a red light camera ticket, but instead will have to deal with the damage costs to their vehicle, insurance claims due to the accident, attorneys costs, and if you are found to be liable for the accident, points on your license.
For example, one of these studies was conducted a few years ago in Virginia, and the final results showed “a significant increase” in rear-end collisions and “a decrease in red light running crashes.” It is tough to say what, if anything, could or should be done because on the on the one hand, the cameras prevent serious accidents in the intersections, but on the other hand, cameras result in significantly more rear-end accidents. Thus, accidents result whether there are red light cameras or not.
If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the fault or negligence of another person and would like to consult an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (855) 954-4141 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Fairfax or throughout Virginia or visit us online.