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Red Light Cameras Affect Sacramento Accidents

Red light cameras have had a huge impact in Sacramento car accidents. One of the most dangerous spots on the road is at a busy intersection.  One small infraction and a driver can run a red light and be the cause of a head on collision.

Red light cameras are installed at intersections to record driver behavior and activity. The main objective behind red light cameras is to catch evidence of drivers who dangerously run red lights. Doing this serves a dual purpose. First, the drivers who run red lights are fined when the camera catches their tag number. Second, if a serious accident occurs, cameras can record the negligent party and blame is placed appropriately.

The National Institute for Highway Safety reports that this trend is successful nationwide. Red light cameras seem to work. Researchers studied 62 American cities with populations of at least 200,000 people. Data was gathered for both before and after an intersection red light camera was installed. Cameras were found to decrease the amount of collisions at that spot by 35%.

Sacramento has approximately 25 red light cameras currently in use. The study showed that once cameras are installed at a few intersections in one area, drivers tend to drive with more caution at all intersections in the area. This is partially due to the fact that no one is sure where they are installed or which ones are recording at any given time. Sacramento showed an improvement of 53%, considerably higher than the national average.

A red light photo enforcement program consists of high speed, mounted cameras in bullet proof containers. The cameras are aimed at both the approaching car and behind it.  One camera can monitor several lanes of traffic.

Cameras are installed at the red light and activated by a sensor in the pavement that is connected to the light signal. The cameras are preset to turn on after the light turns red. If a vehicle enters the intersection after the red light signal has been on, the camera is signaled to snap photos and/or record video.

The camera records the negligent driver’s actions, face, car model, tag number and a variety of environmental factors. This evidence is used to fine the driver as well as evidence in court. They are designed to take clear photos in any type of weather situation.  

The biggest complaint regarding red light cameras comes from the citations. The registered owner of the vehicle receives the citation, even if someone else was driving. This may not seem fair to many drivers but the benefits of the red light cameras far outweigh the disadvantages.

If the owner of a vehicle receives a citation in the mail and someone else was driving they have the option of filling out the affidavit of non-liability on the back of the citation. Once reviewed, the citation may be reissued to the actual driver of the car during the violation.

Each and every violation is screened by an officer to determine the severity of the violation.