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Traffic Cameras are Saving Lives

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Traffic control cameras are being installed on an increasing number of roadways across the country. From main roads to side streets, they are being credited with reducing the number of accidents and making roadways safer for both drivers and pedestrians.

Just a few weeks ago, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety presented the findings of their most recent study to an audience in Nashville, Tennessee including public officials and Tennessee car accident lawyers. The study was compiled from data gathered in Maryland this previous year.

The study results showed that speeding violations exceeding 10 mph greater than the posted speed limits decreased by 59% on roadways where cameras were installed. This not only helped reduce the number of accidents, it reduced the number of fatalities on those roadways by 19%. At decreased speeds drivers are able to maintain better control of their vehicles and have more time to respond to changing and unexpected road conditions.

While public perception is that most cities and towns across the country are currently using traffic cameras for speed enforcement and ticketing purposes, the reality is that the number of jurisdictions using traffic cameras for this purpose stands at just 138.

In spite of this data, state legislators including Rep. Andy Holt succeeded in removing traffic cameras from the state's roadways this summer. Using research from the University of Tennessee, Holt and other legislators claimed the cameras were simply a money grab. Under the provisions within HB1372, traffic cameras used for generating traffic fines were removed from most of the state's roadways.

However, exempt from the law which went into effect on July 1st were cameras within school zones and several communities such as Union City where existing traffic cameras were grandfathered in. With the exception of those deployed within school zones, the grandfathered cameras will be required to cease operations at the time their existing contracts expire which in some cases is up to 20 years from now.

With winter season upon us, car accident lawyers know that Tennessee's remaining traffic cameras will deter drivers from exceeding the posted speed limits which will be especially important as the roads become covered in snow and ice. This will be especially important on city streets where increased speeds on icy roads will decrease traction, thus increasing the likelihood for an accident.

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