In his , Bill Kiner claims that the use of red light cameras is somehow an invasion of privacy that will erode constitutional rights. This is simply inaccurate.
Red light safety cameras do not invade anyone’s privacy, they merely record violations. They do not indiscriminately record everything in view, take pictures of drivers’ faces, or record what people are doing inside their vehicles.
In addition, drivers utilizing public roads do not have an expectation of privacy. As the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted in a 2009 decision, “No one has a fundamental right to run a red light or avoid being seen by a camera on a public street.”
Mr. Kiner also claims that there is no way to “face your accuser” when it is a camera. Yet enabling legislation now before the Connecticut General Assembly sets out a clear process for drivers to appeal red light camera violations.
Mr. Kiner is indeed right about one thing though, that “There is no doubt that these cameras will serve as a deterrent for those who drive in an unsafe manner.” According to a 2011 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the rate of red-light running fatalities in 14 large U.S. cities with red-light safety cameras was 24 percent lower than it would have been without cameras. That translates to 159 lives saved over a five-year period. Had all 99 large U.S. cities used red light safety cameras -- including cities in Connecticut -- 815 deaths could have been prevented.
In a recent poll, 68% of Connecticut voters said they supported the use of red light safety cameras to make their local intersections safer. It’s time for the General Assembly to give Connecticut municipalities the ability, if they so choose, to use this proven life saving technology.
President and Executive Director
National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR)