Will red light cameras remain at dangerous Colorado intersections?

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper recently vetoed two bills that would have restricted red light cameras at intersections.

T-bone crashes caused by a driver running a red light are among the most devastating types of car accidents. Right-angle crashes are more dangerous than many other common accident types, although certainly any type of car crash has the potential to cause serious injury.

T-bone collisions primarily occur at intersections, especially when one driver is distracted, speeding, or running a red light. In an effort to cut down on right-angle crashes, Colorado has allowed municipalities to install red light cameras. These cameras automatically take photos of vehicles running red lights, and are intended not only to punish drivers who routinely run red lights or otherwise drive recklessly, but also to discourage reckless driving in the first place. Ideally, these cameras help improve safety by causing drivers to stop and think before running a red light. Denver and surrounding areas, including Englewood, have installed red light cameras for this purpose. But do they work?

The question is important, as Colorado lawmakers, responding to concerns that red light cameras infringe on privacy rights and are ineffective, passed two bills that would restrict or eliminate the power for municipalities to install traffic cameras. Governor John Hickenlooper has vetoed the bills, claiming they go "too far," but has left open the possibility for future similar bills to pass the next legislative session with a few minor tweaks.

Studies have been mixed on the effectiveness of red light cameras

According to studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, red light cameras do work - to a point. According to these studies, red-light cameras reduce both traffic violations and T-bone crashes. However, a study by the Federal Highway Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, found that while red-light violations and T-Bone crashes were down, red-light cameras actually increased the number of rear-end collisions at intersections.

Amid the debate, the real reason to focus on road safety should not be lost

Reasonable people can disagree about the effectiveness of red light cameras. What is clear, however, is that under the law people who injure someone because they ran a red light are legally responsible to pay for the injuries they cause because of their negligent driving.

Running a red light is dangerous. Hopefully, running a red light only results in a traffic ticket. Unfortunately, too often reckless driving results in a serious and significant injury to pedestrians and other drivers.

If you or a loved one was in an accident because another driver ran a red light, you can help hold that person responsible. Even if there were no cameras, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you prove your case through expert testimony, eyewitnesses, and other evidence to show that you were injured as a result of another driver's negligence.

Contact the FleschLaw Office to discuss your situation and legal options, and to get help with recovering from your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses you suffered as a result of the accident.

Keywords: Car accidents, T-Bone accidents, running a red light, red light cameras, negligent driving, distracted driving, reckless driving.