In Alabama, we have traffic signals for a reason – to keep traffic flowing and allow drivers to navigate through intersections safely.
However, not all drivers feel the need to stop when a traffic light turns red. Some drivers will blow through a yellow light, even when it turns red as they’re entering an intersection. Others will ignore red lights altogether, creating a serious hazard for other road users.
Fatal accidents caused by red light runners on the rise
According to an article in The Drive, a combined effort by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the American Automobile Association (AAA), Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the National Safety Council is urging municipalities across the US to install more red-light cameras.
This comes on the heels of a 17 percent rise in fatal accidents between 2012 and 2016. In 2012, there was a total of 696 traffic fatalities attributed to drivers who ran red-lights. This marked one of three years since 2000 in which the fatality rate dropped below 700.
2016, however, had a total of 811 fatal accidents caused by red-light runners. This marked the highest fatality rate since 2007, which saw 914 road deaths. More than half of motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists killed in accidents caused by red-light runners were not at fault.
Mitigating the risk
Coincidentally, during the rise in traffic fatalities at red lights in recent years, the US has seen a 21 percent decrease in red light cameras, according to the IIHS. From 2012 to 2018, the total number of red-light cameras dropped from 533 to 421.
Alabama currently uses red-light cameras sporadically throughout the state. You may not find any in Mobile or Auburn, but there are currently three installed on Gateway Drive in Opelika – just outside of Auburn.
While some drivers may be concerned about privacy issues, red-light cameras can be a crucial tool in proving that a driver was negligent at an intersection. In some cases, intersection accidents can be complex, as the driver who gets struck can be at fault. Moreover, red-light cameras may help catch drivers who leave the scene of an accident.
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a driver who ignored a traffic signal, it’s important that you take your claim seriously from the start. An experienced Alabama auto accident attorney can help you weigh your options. Contact Mike Slocumb Law Firm today and find out how we can help you.