The Rap on Red-Light Camera Tickets, Safety and Car Insurance Rates

by Barbara Marquand | posted in Auto Insurance

Crashes involving drivers who run red lights kill hundreds of people a year and injure many more. In an effort to reduce red-light violations, cities across the country have installed traffic cameras to catch violators in the act.

Run a red light, and snap! The camera takes a photo of your license plate, and a ticket arrives later in the mail. In some states your car insurance rates could go up, while in others these tickets-by-mail have no impact.

[Tickets? You might be able to get a better deal by comparing quotes through NerdWallet’s Car Insurance Tool.]

While hundreds, if not thousands, of cameras have been installed, research on whether the cameras actually make roads safer is inconclusive. Critics say camera programs are more about making money for cities and camera companies than improving safety, and 10 states have prohibited their use, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

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