Drivers in San Diego, especially those who have received a ticket, are probably not going to mourn the removal of red light cameras at 15 different high-volume intersections across the city. The controversial cameras snapped photos of drivers at intersections after the light had turned red and issued tickets costing drivers up to nearly $500 if they were unlucky enough to get caught in the act.
Earlier this month, Mayor Bob Filner announced that the program would be ending for good. Once championed as a way to prevent car accidents and help cities raise money through fines, the program had come under scrutiny after results proved to be less than what had been anticipated.
Running red lights is still a crime, an extremely dangerous one at that, but the city has chosen to deal with the issue in a more traditional method. To replace the silent sentinels sitting atop the traffic lights, additional police will be dispatched to survey the most dangerous intersections, and can still write a ticket for violators.
Red light running causes an estimated 165,000 traffic injuries each year, so it’s important to stay vigilant when approaching an intersection. Distracted driving can also contribute to the danger at intersections. If a negligent driver runs a red light and causes an accident, that driver can be held liable for the victim’s injuries and costs related to the recovery period. However, with the removal of red-light cameras, injury victims would be well served by working with a legal professional who can help gather evidence to present in court. An attorney can also interview police and other witnesses to present a well-documented claim of negligence.
Source: NBC 7, “Mayor Filner, SDPD End Red Light Camera Program,” Tony Shin and Lauren Steussy, Feb. 1, 2013