In red-light running collisions, two-thirds of the people injured are people other than the driver who chose to run the red light. This statistics means that a large majority of the people who are injured by red-light runners are other drivers, passengers, cyclists or pedestrians. Pedestrians, in particular, are incredibly vulnerable when it comes to red-light running and other traffic collisions as they do not have the seatbelts, airbags or the steel frame of a car to protect them – and the resulting injuries serve as proof.
In a recent opinion piece in the New York Daily News, emergency room physician Dr. Kaushal Shah describes in great detail the typical injuries of a pedestrian who has been struck by a motorist driving 30 miles per hour or less in great detail. The injuries include shattered bones from the initial strike, traumatic brain injury after being tossed in the air and landing on the windshield, and lacerations to the face from the broken glass. Children and shorter pedestrians are often pushed under the car and dragged – leading to brain and chest injuries. In collisions where the drivers reach speeds greater than 30 miles per hour, the consequences are much more deadly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,432 U.S. pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions and another 69,000 were injured in 2011. Even more devastating, 11,000 of the pedestrians injured were under the age of 14. While traffic fatalities declined from 2010 to 2011, pedestrian deaths have been on the rise. Communities all over the country are taking a variety of actions to reverse this trend and keep the most vulnerable users of their roadways safe.
Traffic enforcement cameras like red-light and speed safety cameras are a crucial tool being used by cities and towns across the country to keep pedestrians safe. Red-light safety cameras improve driver behavior near intersections, keeping pedestrians in crosswalks safe and injury-free. Knowing that the speed of an oncoming car significantly influences the severity of a pedestrian’s injuries, speed safety cameras are also critical in keeping pedestrians safe. In fact, New cameras improve driver behavior near intersections, keeping pedestrians in crosswalks safe and injury-free. Knowing that the speed of an oncoming car significantly influences the severity of a pedestrian’s injuries, speed safety cameras are also critical in keeping pedestrians safe.
In fact, New York City is hoping to beef up its safety camera programs with the goal of reducing traffic-related deaths and injuries to zero in the city. In Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Police Department uses not only red-light and speed cameras, but portable stop sign and crosswalk camera technology to ensure that motorists keep pedestrian’s front of mind. And in Pennsylvania, red-light camera violations are helping to fund traffic safety programs like designated crosswalks in dangerous areas, many of which protect pedestrians in the state.