SOURCE: Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

February 18, 2011 10:05 ET

Chicago Car Accident Attorney Says Study Shows Red Light Cameras Make Intersections Safer

Michael P. Schostok of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. Says a National Study Showing the Positive Impact of Red Light Cameras Should Silence Critics of the Program in Chicago and Other Illinois Communities

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - February 18, 2011) - A Chicago personal injury attorney says a recent study of the safety impact of red light cameras should quiet critics who say the cameras invade their privacy and do nothing more than generate tickets and fines.

The recently released study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that red light cameras at intersections have in recent years caused a major drop in fatal red light running car crashes and other types of intersection accidents.

"The purpose of red light cameras isn't to write tickets, it's to save lives," said Michael P. Schostok, an equity partner at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., a leading Illinois personal injury law firm that concentrates on car accidents in Chicago, Waukegan and surrounding communities throughout Cook County and Lake County.

"While I understand the privacy concerns that some people might have about red light cameras, I think this study shows that those concerns are pretty clearly outweighed by the safety benefits," Schostok said.

The IIHS study analyzed 99 cities with populations exceeding 200,000, including Chicago. The researchers compared two periods: 1992-1996 and 2004-2008.

In the 14 cities with red light camera programs in place during 2004-2008, the combined per capita rate of fatal red light running crashes fell by 35 percent from the 1992-1996 period.

The rate of all crashes at intersections with traffic signals -- not only red light accidents -- fell by 14 percent in the cities with cameras and rose by 2 percent in the cities without cameras.

According to the study, deadly red light accidents in Chicago dropped by 32 percent, while all fatal crashes at city intersections with traffic signals dropped by four percent.

"When you know there's a red light camera, it makes you less likely to run through the light," Schostok said. "I think this study indicates that you also tend to drive more safely as you approach the intersection. You slow down, perhaps, and make yourself more aware of your surroundings."

Studies show that running a red light at an intersection is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents, triggering 2.2 million police-reported motor vehicle crashes, 81,112 serious injuries and 7,358 deaths across the U.S. in 2009, according to IIHS data.

"When you run a red light, you put not only yourself at risk of a serious or fatal injury, but you risk the safety of everyone else at that intersection, including other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists," Schostok said. "So, if a program such as the red light cameras can make our Chicago intersections safer, I'm entirely in favor it.

"If you are injured in an accident by a driver who has run a red light, our firm will stand by your side to make sure the negligent motorist is held accountable and that you are fully compensated for your losses, pain and suffering."

About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard is a leading Illinois personal injury law firm with offices in Chicago and Waukegan. In addition to representing clients in catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, aviation and product liability cases, the firm focuses on car and truck accidents, airplane and train accidents, construction injuries, birth injuries, brain injuries, unsafe properties and animal attacks. The firm has obtained more than $585 million on behalf of its clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including 160 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements.

For more information, call (312) 372-1227 or use the firm's online contact form.

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