The red-light camera controversy
There are lots of opinions in favor and against it. Some claimed it as a life saving useful tool and many argued that it’s rather useless method, to save the accident victims on road.
The IIHS report
A recent report from traffic safety group named The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) claimed that in past five years, red-light cameras saved 159 souls in 14 cities around the nation.
In their study they argued that this controversial device reduced the fatal red-light running by 24%, from 2004 to 2008.
IIHS also suggested that if the cameras were installed in major cities where population exceeds two million, then it could have saved 815 lives more.
IIHS President Adrian Lund said, "The cities that have the courage to use red-light cameras despite the political backlash are saving lives."
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a group funded by auto insurers. The group’s goal is to decrease the number of accidental deaths, injuries and property damage caused by crashes on the nation's roads.
Their claims were instantly criticized by the red light camera opponents.
Gary Biller, executive director of the National Motorists Association, a drivers' rights group argued that instead of saving lives, cameras have increased accidents at several places and he believes that other tactics can be more useful in making intersections safer.
To prove his points Biller showed a 2005 study by the Texas Transportation Institute, a research wing of Texas A&M University.
That study informed, "Lengthening the duration of the yellow cycle can reduce red-light running by 50% or more."
Another protestor of red light camera, Greg Munz, a researcher for the Best Highway Safety Practices Institute commented, “There are about 700 additional deaths since cameras have proliferated, from 2001 on. The whole idea that cameras can prevent fatalities and crashes is total nonsense."
These camera opponents argue the true purpose of these cameras and they believe that the sole purpose of these cameras is to make revenue.
Their claim seems true, as these cameras never had the desired public acceptance, around USA.
The rejection amongst people of USA
There are several legal and political backlashes against the cameras, all around the country.
A bill is introduced by Iowa state representative that prevented red-light camera installation in cities, without the consent of the people and the state.
Lawmakers of Virginia are planning for a bill to prevent installation of red-light cameras in cities, from July 1. However, the cameras working at present will remain.
In other cities such as Houston, Baytown, Texas the cameras also faced a lot of adversity. The people voted against the use of red-light cameras.