Most US Drivers Support Use of Red Light Cameras, Survey Shows
"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," said Anne McCartt, the Institute's senior vice president for research. "They understand that this technology is preventing crashes in their cities."
The study surveyed more than 3,300 people in the respective cities and more than 9 of 10 drivers believe running a red light is unacceptable, and more than 8 of 10 deem it a serious threat to personal safety. Two-thirds favor red light cameras, and 42 percent strongly favor them.
Among the 89 percent of drivers who are aware of the camera programs in their cities, a majority say the devices have made intersections safer. Nearly half know someone who has gotten a ticket, and 17 percent have gotten one themselves. Of the latter, about half believe it was deserved.
The survey found less support for the use of cameras to crack down on right-on-red violations than for red light cameras generally. Such violations include making a right on red where it is not permitted and making the turn without stopping. Nearly a fifth of drivers say they support cameras but oppose right-on-red enforcement. Forty-one percent of drivers support using cameras for these violations.
"Right-on-red violations usually aren't associated with T-bone crashes, but they make intersections much more dangerous for pedestrians in particular," McCartt added. "The survey results show cities need to do a better job explaining this issue to drivers."