Motorists Tell Auto Insurance Co. That Red-Light Cameras Affect Driving Habits

Red stop lightA poll released by PEMCO Insurance indicates that motorists in Washington state have mixed views on red-light cameras.

The poll showed 55 percent of motorists admitted that the cameras had changed their driving behavior for the better. It also showed that drivers were divided almost evenly when asked whether they supported having more cameras, the existing amount of cameras or fewer cameras.

Red-light camera programs were first introduced to the state when Seattle installed the devices at six intersections in 2006.

Washington authorities deal with red-light camera violations in a similar way to parking infractions — neither ends up on the driver’s record. So, luckily for these drivers, their ability to maintain the cheapest auto insurance rates should not be impacted by such a ticket.

But PEMCO reports that few of the surveyed drivers understood this. The poll found that 45 percent of motorists didn’t know if the violation would go on their driving record, more than 30 percent thought an insurer would be informed of the infraction and less than 25 percent said they thought the information would not get reported.

The majority of those surveyed feel that the cameras do help. According to the findings, almost 65 percent of respondents believe the red light cameras are “somewhat effective” in lowering the amount of traffic violations; 20 percent find the effectiveness questionable; and 10 percent think the cameras have no impact.

“The key take-away is our poll shows these cameras make people think hard before pushing their luck to try and make a light,” says PEMCO Insurance spokesperson Jon Osterberg. “That’s good for everyone’s safety.”

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety the running of red lights or other traffic controls has shown to be the most common cause of crashes in urban areas, accounting for 22 percent of all crashes.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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