The Colorado Senate passed a statewide ban on the use of traffic cameras. This includes speeding and red-light cameras. The next step is for the state House to consider the proposed bill. Although some lawmakers would like to see these cameras removed, others oppose their efforts.
Considering Both Sides of the Colorado Traffic Camera Debate
On one side are lawmakers who view these cameras as a money-making machine. In 2013, Denver made about $7.8 million from traffic citations. This included close to 195,000 speeding camera tickets and 35,000 red-light camera tickets. They suggest that local municipalities are only interested in the money. Lawmakers don’t believe the cameras enhance safety, but that they do infringe on privacy.
But others–such as many members of law enforcement–object to removing the cameras. They believe the evidence shows a reduction in traffic accidents. One location (Belleview Avenue and Quebec Street) has seen such a drop. In 2005 that intersection had 74 accidents. But in 2013, there were 40, reports the Denver Post.
Others who oppose the bill are lobbyists for the companies who manufacture the cameras. Also, advocates for the disabled have raised their concerns about removing the cameras.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these cameras are effective. They discourage drivers from dangerous maneuvers, such as running red lights. IIHS reports that in 2012, this type of accident resulted in 133,000 injuries and 683 deaths.
In one study, IIHS compared the difference between cities with and without red light cameras. Those with them experienced a 24% drop in red light running fatalities. And all types of fatal crashes dropped by 17%.
The following cities in Colorado currently rely upon red light cameras:
- Cherry Hills Village;
- Fort Collins;
- Greenwood Village;
- Lone Tree;
- Northglenn; and
And three of those cities (Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins) also use speed cameras. While the debate rages on, drivers should know that a violation could result in a fine as high as $110 and the addition of four driving points.
How Red Light Cameras Can Help after a Car Accident
As long as the cameras are in place, they might prove helpful in a car accident case. Evidence a driver ran a red light or was speeding can show negligence. This can help show fault if someone suffers serious or fatal injuries.
But red light camera photos are not the only type of evidence upon which an injury victim should rely, also use:
- photographs of the accident scene;
- debris; and
- damaged vehicles are important as well.
Also, statements from witnesses may provide other details that help build a strong case.
Seeking Help from an Attorney When Injured in a Car Accident
An attorney can help collect evidence that can show fault in an accident. Much of this an injured person can get right at the scene of the accident. But some of it (such as a red light citation) takes more effort to collect.
Serious injuries can result in significant medical bills and lost earnings. To ensure a fair settlement, consult with an attorney. Legal counsel can also determine one’s right to other damages, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. Call D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 to set up a free consultation, or contact us online.