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Red-light cameras throughout New Jersey, touted to be the car accident problem-solver for this densely populated state’s congested roads, may be less helpful than it's cracked up to be, according to NJ.com. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) conducted a study involving 24 intersections with red-light cameras.
And what did the study show?
That accidents – particularly rear-end collisions – at these intersections are actually on the rise. I am always a supporter of safer driving practices, technologies, and methods – anything that may prevent the tragic accidents that so often claim lives or leave victims in various states of pain. However, technology is not foolproof and the necessity of such devices needs to be re-evaluated when they seem to be doing more harm than good.
In some cases, the red-light cameras allegedly caused motorists to act erratically and recklessly when suddenly consumed by the fear that they might get caught on camera and receive a ticket – even when they had been driving with stability and normalcy only moments before approaching the intersection. This sudden change in driving behavior plays a role in the 20 percent increase in rear-end collisions from 286 to 343 after the cameras were installed, and the increase in overall accidents from 577 to 582. The price tag associated with these rising crash statistics? A whopping $1.2 million.
On the other hand, NJDOT showed that, while rear-end collisions may be increasing, the number of right-angle crashes at red lights were down by 86 percent at two of the intersections where cameras had been installed for two years rather than one. There is no clear-cut answer to the question of whether NJ roadways are safer with or without the 80 cameras currently in place. However, it remains that accidents will occur no matter what signs are posted or cameras are rolling, because human error is a factor both erratic and unexpected.
If you have been injured in motor vehicle crash, you know better than anyone what this means – your standard morning drive became an ambulance ride in the blink of an eye. At Console & Hollawell, our car accident lawyers in New Jersey make it their mission to ensure accident victims are compensated fairly when their injuries were caused by another driver’s carelessness. When you contact us at (800) 455-2746, we will discuss your legal rights in a confidential conversation and, as always, completely free of charge.
Additional Information: Read NJDOT’s complete report here.