Car Accident Traced to Red Light Violation
A teacher in Cherokee County suffered critical injuries in a head-on car accident earlier this week.Debra Walton was on her way to school when a vehicle struck her car. According to Cherokee County Sheriff’s officials, the car that struck Walton’s vehicle was driven by a motorist who ran a red light just before she struck Walton’s car.
Red light violations are a major cause of accidents in Georgia. According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, every year there are 260,000 auto accidents caused by motorists running a red light. Typically, people run red lights because they are inpatient, and would rather not have to wait for the light to turn green. Often, drivers may be distracted, and may fail to see a red light. For instance, a driver who takes his eyes for a few seconds because he is texting on the cell phone, or changing radio stations, may miss a red light with serious consequences. Motorists are more likely to run a red light during rush hour times, or in congested traffic.
Georgia allows so-called red light cameras to be used at intersections to monitor these violations. Besides Georgia, 20 other states and the District of Columbia also allow for red light cameras. Earlier this year, authorities in Duluth, Gwinnett County, reactivated the red light cameras which had previously been deactivated because of the high cost of their operations. In Duluth’s experience, the red light cameras kept down violations and prevented accidents, but also resulted in fewer citations and lower revenues. Most red light camera systems tend to be self paying, with collections from fines paying for operations and upkeep. However, when Duluth deactivated the cameras, it was found that the rates of red light violations spiked dramatically, as motorists realized there were no more cameras monitoring their behavior.