Red light running happens frequently and is often deadly. In 2012, 683 people were killed and an estimated 133,000 were injured in crashes that involved red light running.
Red light cameras are an effective way to discourage red light running. Enforcement is the best way to get people to comply with any law, but it's impossible for police to be at every intersection. Cameras can fill the void. An Institute study comparing large cities with red light cameras to those without found the devices reduced the fatal red light running crash rate by 24 percent and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 17 percent.
Cameras don't violate privacy. There's no reason to expect privacy on a public road. Driving is a regulated activity, and people who obtain licenses are agreeing to abide by certain rules. Red light cameras are a mechanism to catch people who break those rules, just like traditional enforcement.
Proper signal timing makes intersections safer. Traffic signals should have adequate yellow time and a brief phase when all signals are red. This reduces red light running and leads to fewer crashes.
Find out which communities operate red light camera programs and get information on state laws governing automated enforcement.
Video: Automated enforcement