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Wave of red-light accidents prompt proposal for camera system

To the southeast of Montgomery County, Maryland is St. Mary's County, where a stretch of road -- Route 235 -- has come under fire recently for a string of car accidents caused by a red-light runner. As a result, lawmakers in the county are pursuing a new red-light camera system to catch such reckless drivers.

Two accidents in the span of two weeks on Route 235 killed one person and seriously injured another after people blew through red lights.

Nothing official has been released regarding the proposal, but there are many places in Maryland that have red-light cameras to catch offenders, who receive a ticket in the mail for their violation.

In an interesting argument against red-light cameras was made by the sheriff who authored the proposal. He said that these camera systems have an unfortunate side-effect: more people rear-end other cars. Drivers aware of the cameras are more willing to break suddenly and harshly, which could cause an uptick in collisions.

What is undeniable, though, is the incredible danger posed to pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers on the road who don't expect someone to speed through a clear red light while they are entering the intersection. These accidents often cause catastrophic injuries to the victims, who are unable to work and need months of recovery and physical rehabilitation -- which is far from an affordable expense. Most victims are entitled to fair compensation for their pain and suffering, should they file a personal injury suit against the negligent red-light runner.

Source: Southern Maryland News, "Sheriff to propose red-light cameras," Jason Babcock, July 20, 2012

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