Traditionally, traffic cameras were designed to catch drivers who speed through red lights at intersections by snapping pictures. The vehicle plates would be identified and drivers would receive citations in the mail.
That will all change as the new law banning traffic cameras takes effect September 1, 2019. Governor Greg Abbott recently outlawed traffic light cameras in Texas, reports StreetsBlog.
Approximately 14,299 crashes occurred throughout Texas in 2017 – resulting in 3,721 fatalities and 17,546 serious injuries. StreetsBlog notes that when signing the bill into law, Abbott didn’t discuss any plan to reduce these numbers.
Arguments for and against cameras at traffic lights
This opposition to traffic cameras is nothing new. Lawmakers throughout the Lonestar State have been trying to get rid of them since they were implemented in 2007 – claiming that they violate the constitution and due process.
In 2010, Houston banned cameras at traffic lights. According to Houston police data, fatal crashes at intersections in the city increased by 30 percent. Overall crashes increased by 116 percent. The problem of drivers running red lights became so prevalent, that the National Coalition for Safer Roads named the city the “most dangerous city for red light running in the nation.”
A 2017 study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that 19 cities that had dismantled their traffic light camera programs saw a 16 percent increase of fatal crashes at signalized intersections in comparison to other cities.
While the argument against traffic light cameras was primarily driven by drivers who felt it was unfair to be ticketed, crashes caused by red-light runners often occur at high speeds and have proven to be fatal.
In one recent case, a driver who ran a red light struck a Waco Police Department SUV, causing a rollover. Luckily the officer only sustained minor injuries, and the driver who ran the red light was OK.
Some crash victims aren’t as fortunate. Last year, a bicyclist was fatally struck by a driver who ran a red light at the intersection of North 15th Street and West Waco Drive. The driver fled the scene of the crash, but due to an anonymous tip, police were able to track down and arrest him.
Know your rights. Contact an attorney today.
If you have been injured in an intersection accident or other crash caused by a driver who ran through a traffic signal, there should be no dispute who was at fault. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely try to downplay your claim in order to protect their own assets. Don’t be fooled by their tricks. Know your rights as an injured motorist. Contact Coby L. Wooten Attorney at Law, P.C. today to discuss your legal options.