Drivers beware: red light cameras cause accidents


Art by Katherine Quinn

Red light cameras only cause more accidents than they prevent and sometimes don’t even do their jobs.

Red light cameras are devices that take a picture of your license plate if you run through a red light or stop over the line. When going past a red light camera there is usually one sign, and it can be hard to see because it is across the intersection on the light post. If you are not looking carefully then you can miss it.

Red light cameras are supposed to stop people from speeding through red lights, but you can also receive a ticket if you stop over the line rather than running the light. These cameras are supposed to be for safety so that less accidents occur by people running lights, but it was proven in a 2005 study by the Federal Highway Administration that these cameras cause more accidents than they prevent, “injuries from rear-end collisions increased by 24 percent.” I would agree that cameras can prevent t-bone crashes in intersections, but the number of rear-ended collisions increased more and that outweighs the benefit.

There are more simple solutions to the problem of people running red lights instead of using these cameras that are unfair to drivers. One solution is having the light for cross traffic turn green a few seconds after the light turns red, which would allow for a grace period in case someone is going very fast and can’t stop in time for the red light. Another solution could be having more cops look out for people running through red lights instead of cameras. The benefits of these would be that people wouldn’t get camera tickets for at least $100 because they stopped after the line.

To conclude, I strongly believe that red light cameras should be taken out of intersections because they cause more stress and collisions than they prevent