Harrison & Medlin, P.C.
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Red-light running crashes and the role of cameras

Many drivers in Georgia become distracted or impatient and run red lights, fully knowing that it's wrong. Unfortunately, many red-light running crashes end in death. The year 2017 actually saw the highest number of red-light running crash deaths (939) in a decade. In a AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index, one third of respondents admitted to running a red light in the past 30 days, and two in five said it was unlikely they would be pulled over for it.

To combat these attitudes, local governments have been urged to install red-light cameras at those intersections that have seen frequent traffic violations or crashes. Signage can alert drivers to the presence of these cameras. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is clear about the benefits of cameras: They can reduce the rate of fatal red-light running crashes by 21% in big cities.

Of course, the local governments will need to evaluate the traffic safety program to see how effective the cameras are. The cameras must be operated under the direct supervision of law enforcement, and they must be calibrated on a regular basis.

To protect themselves against red-light runners, drivers should approach intersections with caution, covering their brake. When the light turns green, pause before heading out. Bicyclists and pedestrians should ensure that vehicles stop before crossing.

Victims of red-light runners may be able to file a claim against the other's auto insurance company. Not all car wrecks, though, are entirely the fault of just one party. Each may share blame, in which case the Georgia courts may assign a percentage of fault to each side. This might affect victims' chances of filing a claim and being compensated for their injuries. For this and other reasons, victims may want a lawyer to assess their case.

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