Do Red-Light Cameras Reduce or Cause Accidents?

    OAK BROOK, IL (January 30, 2020) – Oak Brook Village President Gopal Lalmalani is working towards having the red-light cameras at 22nd Street and Route 83 in neighboring Oakbrook Terrace removed.  With so much about red-light camera programs in the news lately, motorists are asking how they impact traffic safety.  Do red-light cameras make busy intersections safer, or are they simply being used as revenue generators?

    Lalmalani got serious about this issue following the resignation of Oakbrook Terrace mayor, Tony Ragucci amid an ongoing federal corruption probe.  Ragucci, and several other elected officials, were found to receive payouts by SafeSpeed LLC, a controversial company that operates lucrative red-light cameras.  SafeSpeed operates red-light camera programs at busy intersections in dozens of area suburbs, including the one in Oakbrook Terrace. The cameras were installed and have been in operation since August of 2017.


    The big question– do red light cameras reduce accidents?

    Interestingly, studies have shown red-light cameras do not actually reduce the number of traffic accidents or injuries at intersections where the devices are installed.   In fact, drivers tend to brake harder and more abruptly, increasing rear-end crashes and other so-called “non-angle” collisions.Drivers tend to brake harder and more abruptly, INCREASING rear-end crashes

    Once drivers know about the cameras, they appear to accept a higher accident risk.   Drivers often slam on their brakes at yellow lights to avoid expensive ticketing—thereby decreasing public safety for themselves and other motorists.

    There is clear evidence that installing a red-light camera reduces the number of vehicles running a red light.   However, the relationship between the number of vehicles running red lights and the total number of accidents (rear-end collisions, included) is unclear.

    The data on the types of injuries being incurred in these traffic accidents (fatal crashes, incapacitating and non-incapacitating, and more minor) has so far failed to support the case for installing traffic cameras in an effort to make particular intersections safer.

    Most of the red-light camera programs are being administered by out-of-state, for-profit contractors.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports red-light cameras are used in nearly 500 United States communities in 25 states, including Illinois. To date, tens of millions of dollars have been collected from drivers in Illinois following their implementation here.


    When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

    Regardless of if it was a red-light accident or not, if you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Palermo Law Group at (630) 684-2332 for a free consultation with nationally recognized car accident lawyer, Mario Palermo, regarding the best approach to obtaining compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries.

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