Are speed cameras effective in preventing car accidents?
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 988 people died in 2013 in connection with motor vehicle accidents. In 2012, the national figure of auto fatalities reached a total of 33,561 while another 2.3 million individuals were injured, a number that an auto accident attorney Chicago would consider much too high.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 30 percent of individuals fatally injured in those accidents, or 10,219 people, died because motorists would not keep their speed at legal levels. These high levels of completely preventable deaths have caused Illinois to become one of many states considering the wide-spread use of speed cameras. However, some remain unconvinced of their effectiveness in actually preventing speeding and reducing accidents.
An effective deterrent
Many of those who are opposed to the implementation of speed cameras throughout Illinois believe it is more of an imposition on the privacy of the citizens than an effective deterrent. However, studies have shown that these cameras can and do save lives. The Center for Transportation Safety, in conjunction with the Texas Transportation Institute, created one such study specifically to evaluate whether speed cameras actually deter speeding, and as a result, decrease accidents.
The study confirmed that those who speed are significantly more likely to be involved in a serious accident. Moreover, they found that speeders were more likely to experience significant injury as a result of the accident. The overall conclusion stated that the use of speed cameras has a statistically significant impact on reducing speeding in the areas in which they are in use. This is something an auto accident attorney in Chicago could anecdotally confirm multiple times each year.
Illinois adopts speed cameras
Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law in 2012 that allowed cities with more than 1 million residents to install and use speed cameras. This population requirement meant that only Chicago had the right to use the cameras; some cities and towns around the state would like to change that. State Representative Jay Hoffman recently proposed a new bill that would remove the population limitation. The bill will allow all areas of the state to utilize speed cameras if that is what their local governments and populations desire to do. According to the Belleville News Democrat, some state residents still resist the use of these monitoring devices even though there is clear evidence that they can and do reduce speeding accidents and fatalities.
Those who have been injured due to the reckless speeding of a motorist should seek the counsel of an auto accident attorney in Chicago. With their help, injured individuals and their families may be able to find closure and financial stability in the aftermath of an accident.