Red-light cameras, which snap photos of cars caught in the intersection after the light has turned red, have long been the source of debate among motorists and municipalities, with the big question being: Do they encourage safe driving or are they simply revenue generators?
While many drivers complain about red-light cameras and the ticket process--particularly cameras that are perceived to be overly and/or unfairly aggressive--an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that two-thirds of drivers in 14 metro areas that have had red-light cameras for awhile were in favor of red-light cameras.
The study focused on 3,000 people contacted by phone between February 19 and March 29. There's a margin of error of about two percentage points.
There was less support for right-on-red violations nabbed by the cameras than there was for red-light running. Denizens of Washington, D.C., showed the most support for cameras, at 78 percent.
It should be noted that the survey was conducted by the IIHS, which represents insurance companies, who have a vested interest in seeing the technology succeed. Not only could a reduction in accidents be sold to consumers as a way to lower rates, but drivers who rack up tickets could find their insurance rates rising.
Indeed, both Los Angeles and Houston have voted to remove red-light cameras. So while we're sure this study is well-researched, that doesn't mean it closes the book on public support for these devices.
Red-light cameras may be here to stay, but that doesn't mean everyone likes them.