Red-light cameras stoke debate of safety tool or cash cow

According to the latest data from the National Coalition of State Legislatures, communities in 23 states and the District of Columbia use red-light cameras for traffic enforcement.

But at least 11 states have banned them, including Texas, which did so earlier this year. There, lawmakers including Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott sided with drivers who expressed dissatisfaction with the devices and questioned their effectiveness.

“Common sense says that red-light cameras have never prevented an intersection accident or instance of red-light running. The cameras are silent sentinels,” Gary Biller, president of the National Motorists Association, told The Washington Times…

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a proponent of cameras, argues that transparency is paramount in securing citizen support for the devices.

“The jury has been in for many years. Red-light safety cameras are a proven, effective tool to make urban roads safer,” Russ Rader, IIHS senior vice president of communications, said in an email. “Public support is a key issue.”