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Red-light runners a leading cause of accidents in West Palm Beach, surrounding area

Red-light runners come by the dozen because everyone is in such a rush these days. The problem with red-light runners is they are endangering the safety of themselves and others and they are a leading cause of car accidents in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area.

Our St. Lucie accident attorneys wish each of you a safe and enjoyable holiday season. And we urge you to avoid running red lights or engaging in other risky driving behavior that can ruin the holidays for you, your family, or someone else.
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The Sun Sentinel reported over the summer red light cameras were installed at nine busy Fort Lauderdale intersections. Motorists prior to September were getting courtesy warnings. Beginning September 1st fines in the amount of $158 were going to start being issued.

City police were concerned about the number of fatal intersection crashes. Fort Lauderdale had 26 deaths at intersections between 2004 and 2009. Now there are signs that let motorists know that the cameras are in operation 24/7.

Not all communities are in favor of red light cameras according to an article in the Palm Beach Post. The Village of Royal Palm Beach has had two cameras operating since last November. Up to this point only warnings had been issued and last month at a meeting the council members voted against charging a $158 fine for red light runners. Members were not convinced that the cameras made the intersections safer. The cameras are still installed and working but no one is looking at the information. At some point the cameras will be taken down.

Whether cameras make intersections safer has been widely debated. An article for AOL Auto summarizes the answer – yes, no, depends and maybe. Some studies show that T-bone accidents decrease, but rear end accidents increase. Though severe injuries that result from T-bone crashes go down, the actual number of injuries goes up from the rear end accidents as people slam on their brakes at the last second to avoid getting a ticket.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports statewide, the number of fatalities at intersections is at a five year low at 758. The high during that span was in 2006 when there were 1,060 fatalities.

Still, those statistics mean about one-third of all Florida traffic fatalities occur at an intersection, most often because someone failed to obey the signal.

Traffic signals are designed to give us plenty of distance to stop safely when it is changing from green to red. If drivers are traveling at the posted speed limit they should have plenty of time to stop. Speeding fatalities have not changed much in the last five years averaging over 600 per year. But maybe the installation of red-light cameras will begin to show some positive results in the future.

If you or someone you know have been injured in a Florida auto accident contact the Fort Lauderdale Law Offices of Dean H. Freeman for a free consultation. Call 1-800-529-2368.

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