- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2011


While The Washington Times is entitled to its critical opinion of red-light cameras, arguments that the insurance industry benefits from photo enforcement tickets or that camera programs are “deeply unpopular” are not supported by the facts (“Red-light-camera flop,” Comment & Analysis, July 1).

In most states, the citations are treated just like parking violations; they do not go on drivers’ records, nor are they sent to insurers. In places where insurers do get that information, why should red-light runners not pay more - and those who obey the law pay less - since research shows red-light runners are more likely to be involved in crashes? Insurers and their policyholders, of course, benefit when crashes are prevented and claims are reduced.

It is not surprising that the public recognizes the benefit of stopping red-light running. The Washington Times labels as “junk science” a methodologically sound public opinion survey showing that most drivers support camera enforcement. In Houston, where a majority voted in November to end that city’s red-light camera program, those who cared the most about the issue presumably were the most motivated to go to the polls. We respect elections, but an election is a poll of self-selected people who choose to vote, not a scientific measure of what the average person thinks. The institute’s survey shows that the average Houstonian supports cameras but didn’t care enough to vote.



Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


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