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New report suggests red light cameras discourage dangerous driving behaviors

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Dec 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-08 19:35:45-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows a surge in roadway deaths over the last decade.

“They're actually up 30 percent over the past 10 years. That's 10,000 more fatalities than we had a decade ago... We're losing more than 100 people every single day on our roadways across the country,” Adam Snider, Director of Communications for GHSA, said.

Snider said more than 1,100 people died in red-light-running crashes in 2021.

"The intention of red light cameras is to reduce or prevent the right angle crashes," Pei-Sung Lin, Program Director for ITS Traffic Operations and Safety Department, said.

Lin said right-angle crashes are more likely to cause serious injuries or death.

In Florida, there are more than 500 red light cameras, with 100 of them here in Tampa Bay. There's one, specifically, on West Shore and Gandy, where one driver told us that he sees both sides.

"For me, knowing that, I kind of tread more lightly. If I see a yellow light and I know I'm not going to beat it, then I slow down," Allan Turcios, driver, added.

We wanted to hear all sides of the red light camera debate. So, we reached out to a traffic lawyer who said it could do more harm than good.

"As you're driving down the road, a quarter mile up, there might be a red light camera, and people will jam on their brakes and attempt not to run the red light camera, if you will. And so, that causes, you know, more rear-end collisions with people stopping short," David Haenel, owner of The Law Place, said.

Turcios said he also sees too many drivers afraid to get a red light ticket so they recklessly drive through intersections.

"It’s kind of scary. Sometimes when I try to cross the light, I always try to slow down a little bit to see if anyone's trying to take the light at the last second," Turcios added.

GHSA said too many people are dying on our roads to not consider every option.

"It's clear we still have some work to do to convince some parts of the public about the value of this. But, at the end of the day, this is about preventing serious injuries, preventing fatalities, and keeping everyone safe on the road," Snider said.