“This is just about public safety. It’s a no-brainer. Let’s get it done,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who has pushed for red-light cameras since 1993. “Other states have it. Why can’t we do it in Massachusetts? What’s the reluctency of the Legislature to pass this? This saves lives.”
Current Massachusetts law does not allow these red-light traffic cameras. Lawmakers have yet to authorize legislation stating otherwise, according to thenewspaper.com. Those opposing the red-lights say that they see them coming in the near future because of the areas budget deficits.
Beacon Hill is currently feeling the pressure as they’re running low on city cash and may be turning to these cameras to make up the difference. They may be next to install these intersection cameras, according to My Fox Boston. Lawmakers continue to argue that the main purpose of these cameras is to reduce your risk of a car accident in Massachusetts and not to make a quick buck.
Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that these red-light cameras have created a battle between politicians and residents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, big cities with red-light cameras have been fortunate enough to experience a decrease in fatal intersection accidents of nearly 25 percent. Residents argue that the only thing that is decreasing is their privacy.
Those who oppose these cameras claim that the eye in the sky is only an invasion of privacy and a money maker for a city that is caught in a budget bind. A number of previous bills have failed because officials are reluctant to change a law that requires traffic tickets to be hand delivered. Lawmakers defend the possible move by saying that these cameras will help to crack down on violators while helping out police forces that have faced severe cuts.
“Most drivers don’t buy the argument that it’s somehow wrong to enforce the law just because you’re using a camera to do it,” says Anne McCartt, the Institute’s senior vice president for research. “They understand that this technology is preventing crashes in their cities.”
A recent survey, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, concluded that 93 percent of drivers said that it is unacceptable to go through a red light if it’s possible to stop safely. To almost no surprise, a third of these drivers admitted to running a red light in the past 30 days.
“Examining a large group of cities over several years allowed us to take a close look at the most serious crashes, the ones that claim people’s lives,” says McCartt, who is also a co-author of the study. “Our analysis shows that red light cameras are making intersections safer.”
Since the 1990s, a number of communities have used these red-light cameras as a low-cost way to reduce intersection accidents and as an alternative way to police these areas. In 2000, only 25 cities participated in such programs. Currently, there are more than 500 cities that are taking advantage of the technology. Still, many motorists view these cameras as nothing more than a scam operated by money-hungry cities.
“Somehow, the people who get tickets because they have broken the law have been cast as the victims,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “We rarely hear about the real victims — the people who are killed or injured by these lawbreakers.”
If you or a loved one have been experienced a car accident in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Car Accident Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-877-617-5333.
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SUVs to Better Protect Motorists Involved in a Boston Car Accident, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, June 14, 2011
New Program Aims to Assist Baby Boomer in Car Accidents in Boston and Elsewhere, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, May 27, 2011