When cars collide with cyclists, the result often isn’t pretty. Cyclists can suffer severe injuries even when a vehicle is driving at the speed limit in a residential neighborhood. The faster someone is driving at the time of a collision, the greater the injuries can be for the person on the bike.
Getting timely medical care could be the difference between a cyclist surviving after a crash and succumbing to their injuries. Although California state law already requires that people stop after they cause a crash, some people do drive off after hitting a cyclist. Would more traffic cameras help prevent these tragic outcomes?
People drive off to avoid consequences
When someone hits a cyclist, they know they will probably get a ticket and higher insurance rates because they caused the crash. Those expenses alone can be enough reason for some drivers to speed off from the scene of a crash, leaving the cyclist with no one to help them.
Drivers who don’t have insurance, who have illegal drugs in the car or who have alcohol in their bloodstream have an additional incentive to avoid getting caught because they might face more serious charges. Given that the incentive for driving off is typically avoiding consequences, more traffic cameras could help deter hit-and-run scenarios like one that claimed the life of a cyclist in Riverside recently.
Traffic cameras can help create accountability
Properly positioned traffic cameras and public awareness of their ubiquity could go a long way toward ending hit-and-run crashes that sometimes claim the lives of cyclists.
If most drivers know that there will be photo or video evidence of them at or near the scene of the collision, they may realize that driving off is more of a risk because of the additional penalties it might cause. Traffic cameras can help ensure that drivers who hit cyclists and then drive away are held accountable in both criminal and legal court..