Will More Speed Cameras Reduce Fatal Crashes in Washington?

With the increase of fatal accidents in the state of Washington, there has been a new proposal for more speed cameras. The reason that it is believed that these devices are needed is because drivers may pay better attention to their behavior and watch their speeds if they know that they are being watched. However, the true question is whether or not these speed cameras will have an overall positive effect and reduce fatal crashes across Washington.

According to The Olympian, Governor Jay Inslee is asking for more speed cameras to be installed around the state to catch speeding drivers. He believes that this plan will combat dangerous and careless behavior committed by risky drivers. A

This idea was developed as there have been no signs of improvement since a new safety plan went into effect in 2019, called Target Zero. The objective of Target Zero is to reduce injuries and fatalities on roads and highways in Washington by the year 2030. However, within its first four years, there has been little success in the plan.

The data on fatal crashes in Washington

The data shows that traffic-related fatalities continue to increase in Washington. There were over 500 fatalities in 2019 and around 750 in 2022. These numbers are alarming, as this is not a small or minor increase. The director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, Shelly Baldwin, stated, “We have not seen such a rapid increase since back in the ‘70s.”

Baldwin also pointed out that in 2013, there were 436 traffic-related deaths across the state, meaning that the numbers have almost doubled in less than a decade. Speeding, drunk or intoxicated driving, and distracted driving are the three top reasons for the increase in fatalities.

Why does Governor Inslee think that speed cameras are a good idea?

Governor Inslee explained that he recently took a trip to Europe. He noticed that drivers in Europe would drive slower on roads with speed cameras, which sparked the idea that Washington might also do well with more of these devices. He realized that the cameras not only work by providing consequences for those who disobey the law, but they also encourage drivers to slow down. For example, if a driver knows that a speed camera is ahead, they will slow down to avoid getting in trouble.

How do speed limit cameras work?

Many people are aware of red light cameras, which are installed to catch drivers who run red lights at intersections. A speed camera is similar, except it can be placed in different areas of the road and catches drivers who travel over the speed limit. Speed limit cameras  work by taking a photo of a car’s license plate if they are caught driving over the speed limit. The driver will receive a ticket in the mail for speeding.

Can more speed cameras reduce fatal crashes in Kennewick and other cities in Washington?

Even though some people may simply think of speed cameras as a way to generate revenue by boosting tickets, the truth is that they work. The Transportation Safety Director at the Washington State Department of Transportation, John Milton, stated that speed cameras have the ability to reduce fatalities and severe injuries by at least a third.

A few years ago, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a study conducted over a seven-year period. It took place on the East Coast and the results were actually great. The study involved installing more speed cameras to see the positive and negative effects they had on drivers. As a result of the study, there were “long-term changes in driver behavior and substantial reductions in deaths and injuries.”

Even within the first six months of the study, the number of drivers who typically drive 10 mph over the speed limit had decreased drastically. When comparing this county to two local counties with no speed cameras, it was found that cameras reduced driving 10 mph over the speed limit by 59 percent.

What should I do if I’m injured by a speeding driver in Kennewick?

After you seek medical attention? You want to call us. Telaré Law has been kicking butt and taking (insurance company) names for years, and we know what it takes to build a successful case against a negligent driver. We know how to show that the car accident wasn’t your fault, and that the injuries were a direct result of the crash. We know how to stand up to insurance companies and demand that they treat you, your injuries, and your case with the respect you deserve. And if they won’t play ball, we know how to show a jury just how badly you were injured, and how your whole life has been affected by the crash.

But we also know how to treat people, and we think that matters. Your case? It’s deeply personal to us just like it is to you. We know you’ve probably had some rough days and uneasy nights, and that the bills might be piling up. We know that you have questions and that you’re worried about your future. When you work with us, you get a team that’s committed to answering those questions, helping you plan for your future, and showing you how to take back control when it seems like everything is upside down.

At Telaré Law, we believe there is no good excuse for speeding. If you have been injured by a speeding driver, our Kennewick car accident attorneys will do everything we can to stand up and fight for your right to the compensation you deserve. Please call or submit our contact form today to tell us your story. We maintain an additional office in Richland for your convenience.

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