Flash! You’ve been photographed running a red light. Thought you could make it through the intersection but the light turned red. Worried about paying fines or higher insurance rates? Normally drivers should be worried, but here in Orange County, California, up to 25,000 drivers since 2004 have literally “walked away” from any sort of penalty.
A recent Orange County Register investigation discovered that court workers and police rarely complete the lengthy process to punish red-light violators. In some jurisdictions, police are required to match the photo with the car owner. Here in Orange County, though, the court doesn’t need to verify that. Instead, the court will mail out a ticket to the car owner and ask them to identify the photo. There is grey area here and many people just don’t respond to the citation-and get away with it.
Since most of the costs to install and operate the cameras are deducted from revenue fines, this is costing taxpayers a lot of money. Since 2004, the cities involved have lost over 3.5 million dollars.
There are seven Orange County communities that are presently utilizing red light cameras. After one year of red light camera installations, a government report found the accident rate had fallen dramatically. In Santa Ana, 16.2%, Costa Mesa, 28.2%, Garden Grove 46.7% Fullerton 5.7%, and San Juan Capistrano 2.1%. Laguna Woods and Los Alamitos do not have any current data. Moreover, there are 96 cities throughout the state of California using this technology and over 300 nationwide. The main reason: it reduces accidents and ultimately, saves lives. In some intersections, accidents decreased by 46% after installing these devices.
Motorists that run red lights kill over 1000 people per year and injure over 250,000. It is one of the most dangerous forms of aggressive driving. Whether you can’t stop in time or are ignoring the lights completely, it is a dangerous way to drive. Pedestrians make up over 50% of the accidents caused by these dangerous drivers. If you or someone you know have been injured in this type of accident, don’t hesitate to call a personal injury attorney to help you through this ordeal.
Even though people of all ages and demographic profiles run red lights, overall men are twice as likely to speed through an intersection as women. Additionally, most are college educated and “just in a hurry”. Most think they won’t get caught and feel their time is valuable.
You can enter an intersection if the light is still yellow. It’s still legal even if the light turn’s red while you’re in the intersection, but it’s not a good habit to get into.You will be cited if your wheels pass the crosswalk and the light is red.