Do intersections with red light enforcement cameras increase the amount of car accidents that happen in the crossroads or do they help to prevent collisions?  That question is an important one for the city of Los Angeles.

According to LAist, evidence has surfaced that shows red light cameras are not to blame for car crashes at monitored intersections, but tailgating.  This discredits a report by CBS2 which claimed that rear-end car auto accidents because drivers, in anticipation of yellow lights, came to a stop too soon. 

Red light cameras: do they help or hurt drivers? (Source:

Our firm’s San Diego car accident attorneys know that tailgating can be a cause of traffic accidents in any section of the road, not just intersections with red light cameras are prevalent.  These cameras are used to prevent drivers from running red lights, but for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.  Perhaps tailgating is it?

CBS2 originally reported that traffic accidents were higher in intersections with camera enforcement rather than those without them.  The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) disputes those claims.

Analysis did not distinguish whether the traffic collisions occurred in proximity to the intersection or mid block…This included collisions that occurred mid-block or on private property, as well as pedestrian, bicycle, hit and run, sideswipe and several other traffic collisions not relevant to the [Photo Red Light] Program.

— LAPD statement

The LAPD’s report concluded that auto accidents at red light intersections were down.  While others are advocating for doubling the number of cameras in the Los Angeles area, Governor Schwarzenegger might cut the red light camera program for budgetary reasons.

If there is a tactic for cutting the number of car accidents and wrongful deaths on the road, then our car accident attorneys in San Diego are all for it.  But before making a decision about whether to increase or decrease the amount of red light cameras in Los Angeles, officials should take into account ways to prevent tailgating at these intersections as well.

Any time two cars collide, danger is lurking not far behind.  Making sure drivers obey the law is an indirect way to ensure that we are all safe out on the road.

If you or a loved one were injured in an automobile accident you didn’t cause, then we urge you to contact our bilingual offices as soon as possible at 1-858-551-2090 or please click here for a FREE consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Diego.  We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you owe us nothing until we recover money on your behalf.

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