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Does Chicago need more red-light cameras?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2022 | Car Accidents

At one time or another, virtually every driver has gone through a red light. This happens for many different reasons, ranging from poorly calibrated traffic lights to road rage. Still, running red lights is exceedingly dangerous, particularly for pedestrians.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red-light runners killed nearly 900 pedestrians in 2019 alone. Many others undoubtedly suffered catastrophic and life-changing injuries due to red-light running that year. Installing more red-light cameras may be the solution.

An effective deterrent

All motorists realize it is unlawful to blow through red traffic lights. Still, because patrol officers are comparatively rare on Chicago’s streets, drivers may be willing to push their luck. That may not be the case with red-light cameras.

Red-light cameras automatically issue potentially costly citations to drivers who do not stop at red lights. Because these cameras catch virtually all red-light runners, they may be effective deterrents. Nevertheless, for red-light cameras to keep drivers in line, motorists must know they exist.

A safety strategy

Even though red-light cameras may decrease the number of pedestrian fatalities, these cameras are present at just a fraction of Chicago’s thousands of intersections. Therefore, pedestrians must have a safety strategy every time they leave home.

Put simply, there is no substitute for remaining alert and aware. Before crossing an intersection, it is important for pedestrians to look and listen. Making eye contact with approaching drivers may also decrease a pedestrian’s risk of dying or suffering a serious injury in a red-light accident.

Ultimately, catastrophically injured pedestrians may have grounds to pursue substantial financial compensation from red-light runners, regardless of whether the accident occurs at an intersection with a camera or somewhere else.