It’s been four years since San Diego has implemented its red light camera policy at the most trafficked stop lights in the county. The cameras, despite their overwhelming benefits, were met with a group of naysayers who protested the technology on account of its profitability for the city. But the program has since been accredited with the reduction of San Diego car accidents – and for that reason, the city will most likely renew its 5-year contract to keep red light cameras in San Diego.
City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who has been in-charge of the red light cameras in San Diego, says she has been pleased with the safety of the program. “We had a 50 percent reduction in red light-related accidents and an 11 percent reduction in rear-end collisions,” she explained.
The red light camera program is not without its city perks: the city profited $213,000 by installing the cameras although the emphasis has been on the safety the technology introduces. In fact, another City Councilwoman believes the financial risk may even outweigh the financial benefits if a lawsuit were to arise out of the camera use. But despite the potential drawbacks, San Diego will most likely keep red light cameras in place.
As one bicyclist explains it: “They’re in place for a reason. Safety is very important and people take that for granted until it’s too late… people don’t take into account pedestrians and go really fast.”
In addition to renewing its current red light camera locations, the city of San Diego may even increase locations throughout the county, with areas to be soon announced. As of Oct. 2011, red light cameras can be found at 15 various locations, to include the busy areas of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard/Convoy Street, Camino Del Rio North/Qualcomm Way, Nimitz Boulevard/Rosecrans Street, and 10th Avenue/F Street.
Intersection safety: tips for busy drivers
There’s no doubt that today’s busy lifestyle can often transcend into our daily activities like driving. But regardless of how busy our lives get, it’s important to step back and think about the consequences of rushing through something as important as driving. While red light cameras may help to reduce car accidents, it’s also up to the driver to be cognizant of intersection safety. Consider the following tips and learn how you can help make your next intersection a safe place for everyone.
Watch out for pedestrians
People are everywhere. Adults, children, bicyclists, skateboarders, and more use and share our streets just as much as drivers. And being that San Diego is a beach town, people are often cruising streets and sidewalks, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, especially as it pertains to pedestrian safety. Don’t risk running a red light: you never know when a pedestrian may be standing close to the street, ready to walk across.
Don’t gun it through a yellow light
Many drivers incorrectly assume that speeding up to make a yellow light will go unscathed. But unfortunately, there are many accidents that occur from drivers who try to gun it through a yellow light, later facing unexpected results. Just don’t do it. Remember, the law states, “A yellow signal light means “CAUTION.” The red signal is about to appear. When you see the yellow light, stop if you can do so safely. If you cannot stop safely, cross the intersection cautiously.”
Don’t change lanes in an intersection
Simply don’t engage in any lane changes while driving through an intersection. Remember, the law states, “Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic in one direction, a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”
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