Red light cameras a “no” in Montana despite auto accident risks

Road safety is a frequent worry in Montana. Among the primary causes of injuries and fatalities in auto accidents are speeding, drivers running red lights and distracted driving. To combat these issues, lawmakers strive to formulate strategies to discourage drivers from risky behaviors. One that is used in many states is the so-called “red light cameras” at intersections.

Montana, however, is not one of them. Recently, lawmakers debated a bill that would have allowed these cameras to be installed throughout the state. The objective is to increase awareness about road safety. The bill has been shelved, making it more important for people to be vigilant about the chance of a collision with injuries and fatalities.

Past accidents and safety concerns sparked idea for red light cameras

The proposal was put forward after a 40-year-old man was killed when he was hit by a motor vehicle as he was bicycling in the fall of 2022. It was named after him.

State law does not allow traffic cameras to be installed. These cameras take an image of a vehicle’s license plate if they are in the intersection after the light has turned red. Some lawmakers believe this is too much regulation.

Those in favor of the bill say it would enhance safety for vulnerable members of the community such as pedestrians and bicyclists. If drivers are behaving recklessly and ignoring the law, this places people in jeopardy. The lack of accountability and reality that law enforcement cannot be stationed everywhere at once is part of the argument for the cameras to be installed.

Statistically, the cameras encourage drivers to behave in a safer manner. It also lowers the seriousness of accidents if they do happen. More than 80% of pedestrians who lose their lives in an accident do so in urban areas making it a benefit to have red light cameras.

Intersection accidents can cause untold damage and people must know their rights

Regardless of the numbers and the positive results many states have had with intersection cameras, Montana lawmakers and those voicing opposition say it is unfair to cite drivers based on photographs taken at an intersection.

Without this law, it is even more vital for people to think about safety at intersections. This is true, whether they are in a vehicle, on a motorcycle, riding a bicycle or walking. Auto accidents can lead to long-term injuries, financial ramifications, lost time on the job and more. When there is a fatality, people will need to restart their lives after the loss of a loved one. Consulting with experienced professionals who are experienced at litigating cases and know how to negotiate settlements is key when determining how to move forward.

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