If you’ve ever been ticketed for running a red in Denver, chances are it wasn’t a police officer writing the ticket. Red-light cameras are at several intersections throughout the city but that could change soon.
Some are asking the question: do cameras make intersections safer? Or instead, are they simply a convenient way to ticket drivers?
The case against cameras
Those opposing the red-light cameras argue that they don’t address the main issues of intersections. The cameras aren’t preventing accidents but instead changing the kind of accidents.
Drivers may stop suddenly in front of other cars to avoid a red-light ticket. This can cause more rear-end accidents at intersections. Instead of reducing accidents, the cameras might change where they take place.
Another issue raised by opponents is that the program is only a moneymaker for the cities. Many cities, Denver included, contract with a private company to operate these cameras. They split the revenue, which can be in the millions. Since the city doesn’t have to pay anyone to enforce these cameras, it’s an easy way to raise money.
The potential benefits
On the other hand, the Denver Police Department says the cameras do reduce accidents. According to Denver7, intersections with cameras have accident reductions up to 60 percent. The department also reported that cameras greatly lowered the number of side-impact accidents.
The visibility of the light cameras may also help. The cameras may keep drivers mindful of their speed around intersections. If they help reduce the number of people who blow through red lights, they may be worth the annoyance.
Cameras coming to an end?
Legislation in the General Assembly proposes ending the use of red light cameras throughout Colorado.
A new bill introduced in January would prohibit using any type of automatic driver identification. While the bill may not pass, it’s just the latest of a series of bills aimed at taking down these cameras.
More than cameras
Whether Colorado eliminates red-light cameras or not, our intersections remain high-risk areas for drivers.
If you’re in an accident with someone racing to beat the red light, injuries may occur. A skilled attorney can be a valuable resource for the ensuing claims process and any injuries you may have suffered.