March 11, 2015
Americans Oppose "Speed Trap" Radar Cameras, But Support Red-Light Cameras, Says FindLaw.com Survey
EAGAN, Minn. — Smile, you’re on radar speed trap camera! More communities across the country are adopting automated radar-activated cameras to catch speeding motorists in the act, even though such cameras are opposed by a majority of Americans, says a new survey from FindLaw.com, the most popular free legal information website.
The survey found that 52 percent of Americans oppose the use of radar speed cameras, while 48 percent support them. Advocates say the cameras increase safety, but opponents contend they are often little more than revenue grabs by communities seeking to fill their local coffers. Interestingly, there is a split between men and women on the issue — a majority of women support the use of speed cameras while a majority of men oppose it.
Ohio recently adopted a law requiring the presence of a law enforcement officer when a speeding ticket is issued, effectively banning automated speed cameras. Nationwide, however, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the number of communities using radar speed cameras increased from 115 in 2011 to 137 in 2014.
This is in contrast to the use of cameras that enforce red-light violations at intersections. The use of such cameras is decreasing, even though FindLaw found that Americans support the use of red-light cameras by 56 to 44 percent.
“The landscape of jurisdictions using automated cameras for traffic citations is changing constantly, due to decisions by courts, voters, legislators and city halls,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, attorney editor at FindLaw.com. “If you drive across the country, you might encounter a ‘red-light camera’ in one city, a ‘speed camera’ in another city, and neither in other cities. It’s always advisable for motorists to be aware of the applicable traffic laws wherever they travel.”
Free information on traffic tickets, including information on avoiding traffic tickets, types of traffic tickets, how to fight a ticket and a searchable directory for finding an attorney, can be found at http://traffic.findlaw.com/traffic-tickets.html.
The FindLaw.com survey was conducted using a demographically balanced survey of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.
Note to editors: Full survey results and analysis are available upon request.
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