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Responding to red-light runners with cameras, defensive driving

Red-light running crashes resulted in a 10-year high in fatalities with 939 people dying in them in 2017. California residents should know that more than two people die every day in this country in red-light running crashes. Yet a AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index shows that there is a disconnect between what drivers think and what they do. Eighty-five percent acknowledged that red-light running is wrong, yet nearly a third admitted to doing it in the past 30 days.

To better enforce traffic laws, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recommends the use of red-light cameras at those intersections with a discernible pattern of traffic violations and crashes. In large cities, cameras can reduce the rate of fatal red-light running crashes by 21%. They can cut the rate of all fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 14%. Local governments must ensure, of course, that the cameras are calibrated periodically and that signs are posted notifying drivers about the cameras.

Drivers themselves must practice defensive driving. When a light turns green, they should pause and look both ways before entering the intersection. Before applying the brakes, drivers can tap them a few times to catch the attention of any distracted drivers behind them. Pedestrians and bicyclists must also stay safe by being alert. Headphones and other distractions should be avoided.

Perhaps drivers have been involved in a collision with a red-light runner. In that case, they may want to see Costa Mesa auto accident injury lawyers about their options. By filing a third-party insurance claim, they might be reimbursed for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Since insurance companies can be aggressive in denying payment or getting plaintiffs to agree to a low-ball settlement, victims may want their lawyer to handle all negotiations.

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