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Does technology really improve highway safety in Pennsylvania?

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

One of the newer weapons in the fight against traffic injuries and fatalities is the use of technology. Speed cameras on certain roads in Pennsylvania and red light cameras at intersections are certainly not loved by many motorists, and when the envelope arrives in the mail showing a picture of one's own car racing through a school zone, it can be aggravating. The real debate is whether these tools are accomplishing their goal: an increase in highway safety.

Recently, a man on a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver. A group of cyclists in Pennsylvania is using this incident to lobby for expanding the red light camera program in their city. Opponents argue that such technology does nothing to prevent accidents. However, studies show this may not be true.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released over a dozen studies, the best of which showed that speed cameras may reduce crashes with injury by up to 25 percent. The study also showed that intersections with red light cameras see up to 51 percent fewer injury crashes. Interestingly, while the number of T-bone crashes declined at these intersections, rear-end collisions increased, presumably because of drivers coming to a sudden stop to avoid getting a ticket for running a red light.  

While the technology itself does not prevent accidents, some studies explain that the presence of cameras changes the behavior of drivers. Drivers in Pennsylvania who are aware of the cameras may drive more cautiously, thus preventing more accidents. No matter how much technology is in place to improve highway safety, drivers who fail to use caution may cause accidents that lead to injuries. The victims of these negligent drivers may contact an attorney to consider taking legal action to claim possible compensation for their pain and suffering.

This blog entry was posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Source: politifact.com, "Radar guns and cameras don't stop accidents, huh?", Mark Dent, June 14, 2016

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