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Intersection Video Cameras-For Safety or Profit?

The recent placement of cameras that capture drivers blowing through red lights are raising discussion in Florida.  Many are left wondering whether the placement of the cameras was really to boost driver safety, or just to boost revenue for the state.  We have similar cameras located at major intersections around Seattle and it’s outlying areas.  As a car accident lawyer in Seattle, it’s interesting to see some of the true facts about these cameras come to light.

In West Palm Beach, Florida, rear-end car accident rates have actually doubled since the inception of the cameras.  The result of people being caught running the red-lights has amounted to over $300,000 of revenue in just one months time.  Why the increase in rear-end collisions? The prospect of a hefty fine leaves drivers feeling anxious at a yellow light and are more likely to make an abrupt stop.  The drivers following behind expect the front car to continue through the intersection and can’t slow in time to avoid a collision.

Luckily, only one person suffered minor injuries as a result of this increase in accident rates.  According to this article, the fine is set to rise to $158 starting July 1st.  Now that we know that the cameras don’t prevent accidents but actually cause them, should the government disable them?  Unlikely, considering the amount of money pouring in through the resulting fines.

Kirk Bernard