Could Red-Light Cameras Increase Car Accidents in Boca Raton?

Our area is being added to the list of cities in the country scheduled to implement red-light cameras to help to reduce the risks of car accidents in Boca Raton and elsewhere. They’re not going to be activated until most of the cameras in the city are ready, so don’t expect a ticket in the mail anytime soon. Installation could take months to complete.

Right now, there are a dozen red-light cameras planned for the city’s most dangerous intersections, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Some support the cameras, saying they will help to reduce the risks of red-light runners. Others say that they’ll increase the risks of rear-end accidents in these areas because frightened drivers will slam on their brakes to avoid a ticket. Some even believe that the devices are just another way to raise some money for a struggling economy. Either way, our Boca Raton car accident attorneys can tell you that intersections are dangerous areas to travel through, cameras or not. Drivers are asked to exercise safe driving habits in these areas, regardless of the eye in the sky.

Cameras are being installed at the following intersections:

-Northwest Second Avenue and Glades Road.

-Clint Moore Road and Congress Avenue.

-Spanish Boulevard and Military Trail.

-Northeast 20th Street and Federal Highway.

-St. Andrews and Glades Road.

-Northwest 15th Avenue and Glades Road.

“If people know they are being filmed, they might be more careful when driving through the intersections,” said Assistant City Manager Mike Woika.

When the cameras are activated, drivers can receive a fine of nearly $160 if they’re busted. Boca predicts that it will make about $400,000 a year off of its share of the ticket money.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a number of studies have concluded that red-light cameras increase the risks of overall injury accidents at these sites.

Other studies have stated that these cameras actually make intersections safer, with fatal red-light running accidents reduced by nearly 25 percent. It has also been concluded that red-light cameras decrease red-light violations by roughly 50 percent.

There has been quite a bit of controversy over these cameras in recent years. Back in 2010, Florida passed a law that enabled cities to install these cameras. A year later, a bill was passed by the House to repeal the law. That bill was stalled in the Senate, but repeal efforts are being renewed by Rep. Scott Plakon.

Palm Beach County was one of the Sunshine State’s first large counties to allow permit red-light cameras back 2008. The county is planning on adding nearly 100 more to its intersections.