Survey: Majority of Drivers Feel Red Light Cameras Save Lives, Do You?

By Joel Arellano | June 30, 2011
Opposition to red light camera programs is so prevalent that you’d think most Americans are clamoring for their removal. Au contraire, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the non-profit organization’s latest study, two-thirds of drivers surveyed actually approved red light cameras, with 42% strongly favoring them. Those surveyed cited “safety” for their support of the programs, with more than 80% viewing running a red light as a “serious threat to safety”. A study earlier this year by the IIHS showed that, between 2004-2008, more than 800 lives could have been saved by red light cameras. Even in Houston, Texas, which discontinued its red light camera program last year, 57% of those surveyed at the time favored the program, with 45% strongly in favor of them. "Most drivers don't buy the argument that it's somehow wrong to enforce the law just because you're using a camera to do it," Anne McCartt, the Institute's senior vice president for research, said in a statement. "They understand that this technology is preventing crashes in their cities."
The 14 surveyed cities, states, and drivers approving red light camera programs include:
  • Bakersfield, Calif. 68%
  • Baltimore, Md. 67%
  • Chandler, Ariz. 75%
  • Chicago, Ill. 65%
  • Garland, Texas 66%
  • Long Beach, Calif. 48%
  • Phoenix, Ariz. 74%
  • Portland, Ore. 68%
  • Raleigh, N.C. 62%
  • Sacramento, Calif. 71%
  • San Diego, Calif. 64%
  • Santa Ana, Calif. 54%
  • Toledo, Ohio 58%
  • Washington, D.C. 78%
Opponents point to camera error (26%); revenue stream for cities (26%); worsening road safety (19%); and invasion of privacy (17%) as their reasons to discontinue such programs. In the Houston vote, 28% of those opposed the program, considerably higher than the 18% average from the IIHS study.
How do you feel about red light cameras? Do you feel they make streets safer or are they just there to generate revenue for cash-strapped cities? Let us know in the comments below. Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
cathie sperl
cathie sperl

i am becoming a better driver at 50 because i'm more conscious now at every intersection. Even my young employees have seen many a friend get a ticket, and now they are much more apt to slow down for a yellow light, than to try to run it! I think it's a great idea, simply for safety alone...and if it generates income to purchase more cameras....God Bless! Put them at every intersection in NYS! We'll never have a lawsuit again involving an accident at an intersection w/ cameras. We'll have the only "witness" we need!