Friday, July 01 2011 @ 10:33 AM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
from Getting There by Michael Dresser
A survey by a prominent highway safety group shows two-thirds support for the use of red light cameras in Baltimore and 13 other large U.S. cities, indicating the public believes study findings that the devices reduce auto fatalities.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said its survey shows that 67 percent of respondents in Baltimore support the use of the camera -- a percentage that is in line with the national average.
Other cities in the survey ranged from 78 percent support in Washington to 48 percent favorable in Long Beach, Calif. The survey did not address public acceptance of speed camera.
The institute contends the survey shows that opponents of the red light cameras, while vocal, make up a minority of the driving population. According to the group, another of its studies showed a 24 percent reduction in fatal crashes in the same cities since the introduction of the technology.
“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.”
The survey found that nine in 10 drivers call red-light-running unacceptable, and eight of 10 consider the practice a threat to their own personal safety.
The institute said the survey found that about one-quarter of the respondents firmly oppose use of the cameras. It said the most common reasons given -- by 26 percent each -- were that cameras make mistakes and that they are installed to raise government revenue rather than to improve safety.