Recently in Red-Light Cameras Category

October 14, 2014

Traffic Camera Revenue Increases While Driver Safety Decreases

Between 1998 and 2004, collisions were up 61 percent while fatal crashes were up by 81 percent, due to red light and speed cameras in the District of Columbia. Traffic cameras can increase fatal and injury collisions because they can alter the driving behaviors of drivers. The major concern is that it causes drivers to come to sudden stops when they see these traffic cameras, therefore; causing more rear end collisions and fatalities.
In Virginia the same can be said for the use of traffic cameras. Rear-end collisions increased about 27 percent between 1998 and 2004.

With the use of these traffic cameras come fines for drivers. While the District of Columbia and Virginia see an increase in revenue, due to the cameras, drivers are burdened with these fines. It is clear that motorist who speed, run red lights and otherwise violate traffic laws need to be ticketed. But, the automated system that is imposed in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, are clearly focused on revenue first, not safety. There needs to be a more accurate and a fair way of ticketing these unsafe drivers.

By the end of this fiscal year, which was September 30, these traffic cameras have generated $26.1 million in revenue for the District of Columbia. The District should not have to depend on the revenues from these cameras to balance its budget. The purpose of these cameras, originally, was safety, but it is clear that now it is more about the revenue that come from the use of these cameras, then safety of drivers in the city.

January 6, 2014

New Traffic Cameras in the District of Columbia

In the District of Columbia a new type of traffic cameras have been implemented. Starting February 1, 2014, the deployment of several new types of automated traffic enforcement will go into effect. One of the new types include cameras, as part of D.C. Street Safe Initiative. The purpose of these new cameras is to combat aggressive and dangerous driving habits in the District of Columbia. The new cameras are also suppose to track drivers who speed and violate other traffic infractions, such as, rolling through stop signs, crosswalks and intersections and also drivers who "block the box" at intersections.

"Block the box" refers to when a vehicle attempts to cross an intersection on a green light but cannot make it all the way through and then the light turns red, therefore; they are now blocking the intersection and blocking drivers from moving through the intersection in the perpendicular direction, in other words, they are blocking cross traffic.

These cameras were placed, in areas in the District of Columbia, based on the number of crashes and injuries, calls for service, high speed volume, near schools and churches, or in zones where commercial vehicles are prohibited from traveling. Also, they are located at intersections with known speeding problems and in congested areas. The Department of Transportation, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and community organizations also had a say in where these cameras should be placed.

Therefore; starting February 1, 2014, these cameras will begin taking pictures of offenders and issuing fines. The cameras were installed and suppose to go into effect as of late November 2013, but they needed to make sure that the locations had been issuing warnings for 30 days first, as to make drivers aware of the new cameras.

June 26, 2012

How to Tell if a Traffic Ticket Will Raise Your Insurance Rates

Here are three things that must happen in order for an automobile insurance company to raise your rates, once you have been issued a traffic ticket/citation:

1) The ticket must show up on your motor vehicle record (MVR);
2) Your state must allow insurance companies to penalize you for the violation, and
3) Your Insurance company must consider the violation a risk factor

Automobile insurance companies won't consider traffic violations/tickets that do not appear on your MVR. MVR's usually only reflect moving violations that endanger lives or property. Such violations include: running red lights, changing lanes without caution, speeding, DUI/DWI, reckless driving, etc..

If the violation appears on your MVR and your automobile insurance company finds out about it, your rates usually increase about 5% for the first ticket, but if you have various violations on your MVR, then your rates could go up about 20% or more. Multiple violations reveal a pattern of bad decisions and behavior as a driver and make you a higher risk to your automobile insurance company.

May 24, 2012

88 Traffic Cameras to Be Added to the Streets of D.C.

Speed camera.jpgOn May 18, 2012, the D.C. Council approved the implementation of 88 more traffic cameras in the District of Columbia. These new high tech cameras will not only ticket drivers who run red lights and speed, but will now also ticket drivers who block crosswalks and /or speed through green and yellow lights. The fines can be anywhere between $75 and $250.

To date, the District of Columbia has 78 traditional cameras that generate about $55 million a year and with the addition of these new 88 high tech cameras it is expected to generate another $25 million a year. Therefore; there will be 166 cameras in the District of Columbia and $80 million in revenue a year.

Therefore; slow down and don't block the box while driving in D.C., or get ready to pay.

December 16, 2011

Automobile Related Fatalities Decreased in Maryland in 2010

774604_car_accident_1.jpgThe number of automobile accident related fatalities decreased by about 10 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2009 to 2010. In 2009, there were 549 automobile accident related fatalities and in 2010 there were only 493. The reason there was a decrease is because there are better air bags and anti-rollover technology in newer vehicles, drivers are using their seatbelts properly and more often and there has been an improvement in safe-driving campaigns in the state of Maryland, according to the AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Another factor for the decrease is that Maryland police officers and other law enforcement officers have been cracking down more on drunk drivers. Repeat offenders have had to install start up kits/breathalyzer machines in their vehicles that do not allow the vehicle to start/turn on if there is alcohol in their system.

Also, speed limits are followed more by drivers because of red light and speed cameras all over the state of Maryland. Therefore, drivers are respecting the speed limit in certain areas more. Another factor is that in the state of Maryland it is prohibited to use a handheld device while driving. Be it for talking on the phone, texting, viewing messages or communicating through media outlets while driving.

When you consider all these factors, one can better understand how there has been a 10 percent decrease in automobile accident related fatalities in Maryland. One can only hope that there has been a bigger decrease in 2011.

March 7, 2011

Fatal Crashes in DC and MD Down, But Up in VA

A report published in February 2010 shows, that in the last five years, fatal crashes at intersections with traffic lights have declined in Maryland and the District of Columbia, but have risen in Virginia. Experts have made the assumption that the drop in fatal crashes in MD and DC are due to the use of red-light cameras.

In Northern Virginia, only Arlington County and Falls Church, currently use red-light cameras. Between 2005 and 2009, fatal crashes in Virginia have increased. In 2005 only 39 fatal crashes occurred, but in 2009, there were 51 fatal crashes. Therefore, other counties in Virginia are seeking state approval to install more red-light cameras.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), between 2004 and 2008, 159 lives were saved in 14 cities nationwide by the use of red-light cameras. When red-light cameras are used for safety reasons and not just to generate revenue they have shown to save lives. People have a better understanding now of how important it is to not run a red light. The use of red-light cameras makes people drive safer and avoid running red-lights, and therefore, save lives. It is the heavy use of these cameras in Maryland and the District of Columbia that have caused the decline in fatal crashes. It is imperative that other cities and counties in Virginia do the same.

February 7, 2011

There Will Be More Traffic Cameras Installed in the District of Columbia

trafficcamera_thumb.jpgIn the Nations capital there are currently, 30 speed cameras and 50 red-light cameras that control speeding and the running of red lights. A new program was introduced that will expand the number of cameras and increase the types of tickets/infractions that can be issued. The new cameras will be installed in the next year in areas that demonstrate a need for additional control and enforcement.

There are various studies that show that traffic enforcement and the use of speed cameras and re-light cameras save lives. Traffic fatalities in the District dropped to 25 in 2010 from 75 a decade ago. This is according to D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

The new cameras will use technology to cut down with vehicles blocking intersections, vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians on crosswalks, truck height-restrictions and weigh trucks along I-295.

The new program would be the most aggressive in the Nation, and studies have shown that the use of this technology reduces crashes and save lives.

May 17, 2010

Traffic Cameras Used in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to Make Streets Safer

Speeding Camera.jpg

All along the streets and highways of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, the use of cameras has become more and more visible. The two types of cameras used are red light cameras and speeding cameras. Some communities in these states and the district embrace the devices, while others believe them to be used solely to generate revenue during our economic downturn.

The Federal Highway Administration says "such technology can make highways safer." The National Safety Council also supports such enforcements solely for its safety benefits. Speeding is a factor in more than 31% of traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 762 people were killed and about 137,000 injured in crashes that involved red light running in 2008.

In a federal study, it was found that red light cameras cause a 25% decrease in crashes. Red light cameras are used in 441 communities in 25 states and the District of Columbia and speed cameras in about 56 communities in 12 states and the District. The Fines for running a red light camera in MD is $100, in VA is $50 and in the District is $75, while Speeding Cameras in MD is $40 and $75 in the District.

You can not have cops everywhere at all times, so these cameras allow cities and communities in the states in which they are used to decrease the amount of accidents, fatalities and to make streets safer, while gaining much needed revenue in these states. In principle, photo enforcement is valid when implemented correctly.