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Communities Install Cameras to Put Brakes on Dangerous Driving

Aired July 13, 2000 - 2:19 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: Whether it's triggered by road rage or simply haste, motorists who run red lights kill hundreds of people every year and injure thousands of others.

CNN's Ed Garsten tells us a "Candid Camera" approach may put the brakes on dangerous drivers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED GARSTEN, CNN DETROIT BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Thousands of motorists each day go when the light tells them to stop. It may be a minor traffic infraction, but according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red light running is a killer. Each year, more than 800 people die and more than 200,000 people are injured in crashes involving red light running.

BRIAN O'NEILL, PRESIDENT, INSURANCE INST. FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY: And more than half of these deaths and injuries are to people who are in other vehicles or pedestrians who are struck by the red light runners. In other words, innocent victims, if you will.

GARSTEN: The IIHS found that between 1992 and 1998, there were over 6,000 deaths in such accidents, and the rate of those grew faster than for all other fatal crashes during that period. Arizona had the worst fatality rate in red light running accidents: just over seven for every 100,000 people. Nevada, Michigan, Texas and Alabama followed. Three cities in Arizona were among the individual communities with the worst fatality rates.

The Insurance Institute has endorsed a form of "Candid Camera" to help reduce red light running: the installation of cameras at intersections to help catch violators.

(on camera): According to the IIHS, about 40 communities in the United States have installed cameras to help enforce traffic laws. The results? The institute says a reduction in red light running by about 40 percent.

(voice-over): The institute admits there has been some concern about the cameras from privacy advocates, but says when it comes to saving lives, that should be a, quote, "non-issue."

Ed Garsten, CNN, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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