Red lights cameras were originally designed as an easier and more effective way for police to find stoplight offenders and in turn keep the public safe. But now, in a new national report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, data suggests that red light cameras may actually reduce the chance of a fatal car accident.

The report found that large cities, including several in California, where the cameras were installed saw a decrease in overall fatalities after studying traffic data from 2004 to 2008.

Which California cities had reduced fatalities?

While many cities in California saw a small reduction in fatalities as a result of red light cameras, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Sacramento and San Diego car accidents were significantly reduced as a result of red light camera installation, according to the report.

However, the report’s findings were somewhat inconsistent since some cities such as Anaheim saw a 29% drop in traffic light fatalities, even though the city has not installed cameras.

Despite some inconsistencies, proponents for red light cameras say the findings help justify their cause to keep the public safe. But, red light cameras have become increasingly contentious in the public’s eye.

Some critics say red light cameras are only used to unfairly increase city revenue, but city officials deny this claim.

Dangers of running a red light

The idea behind a red light traffic camera is to inhibit motorists from running the red light.

Running a red light is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, even if you think there isn’t a camera or not. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 2.3 million reported intersection-related crashes. Of these red light car accidents, more than 7,770 resulted in fatalities and approximately 733,000 individuals experienced a personal injury car accident from a red light-related incident.

Even if you’re a proponent for red light cameras, or if you feel they are too invasive, please follow traffic safety laws at all times and do not run the red light.

If you or a family member has been involved in a red light car accident, or a car accident within an intersection, San Diego car accident attorney Michael Pines will evaluate your legal rights free of charge. And, if you have been personally injured as a result of your car accident, our auto attorneys will represent you without any out-of-pocket expense on your behalf. Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or contact us online.

For more information on red light running, and statistics from the NHTSA, please visit: