Earlier this summer, Texas Governor Greg Abbott approved legislation outlawing red light cameras. According to a report filed by Governor Abbott’s office, the presence of red light cameras reduces T-bone accidents at intersections but increases instances of rear-end accidents because drivers brake more abruptly. While the data is not yet available on the impact of the red light cameras being turned off, some are worried the change will lead to more reckless driving at intersections with stoplights.
While many don’t think about driving as an ever-evolving skill, it’s important to stay informed about major changes in traffic laws so that you can adjust your behavior appropriately. Below we outline a few major areas to help keep yourself safe now that red light cameras are off.
Learn to Love the Delay
While you may incur a few honks from behind, if you are first in line at a stoplight, give yourself an extra second to let the intersection clear. While most stoplights have a buffer built in between one light turning red and the next turning green, some drivers take advantage of the delay to slip through even though their light has ended. Giving yourself an extra moment can help insure you avoid getting T-boned by another driver.
Look Both Ways Before Crossing the Street
When you are waiting at an intersection, your attention is typically focused on the light and waiting for it to turn green. Once you have the green light, make sure you give yourself time to scan–in both directions–to make sure there aren’t any other cars coming through. Even if you have the right-of-way, be sure to look out for drivers who may be trying to slip through a red light.
Anticipate Light Changes
While most of our tips focus on how to avoid other drivers who may be running red lights, it’s also important to keep yourself from running red lights. If you’re on an unfamiliar road and don’t know the timing of the lights as well as you know those in your own neighborhood, slow down slightly and keep your foot near the break as you approach intersections to avoid having to run a red light. As much as possible, avoid coming to abrupt stops if you do encounter a red light. Keeping yourself focused and attentive while on the road will help keep you and other drivers safe.