Baltimore Automobile Safety News: Rte 235 Traffic Accidents Prompt St. Mary’s County to Add Red-light Cameras

Personal injuries can result from most any activity. Whether one lives here in Baltimore, over in Frederick or out in Washington, D.C., it is a certainty that you or someone you know has been witness to a car, truck or motorcycle accident during your driving career. Many times, when someone calls our firm, it is because that person or a close family member has been hurt due to another individual’s negligent actions.

Malice is not the only cause of traffic-related collisions, just as it is not always the reason for a trip and fall incident or a medical error that has out someone into a nursing home. Very often, accidents that cause injury are a result of carelessness or distraction at a critical time. In the case of passenger car and trucking-related wrecks, the simple yet dangerous act of using a smart phone can and does lead to a serious and sometimes fatal roadway collision.

Innocent victims of these kinds of accidents may have just cause to bring a civil suit against the injuring party via a personal injury lawsuit. Such as claim is quite common if the victim or his family believes that the injury was caused either by intentional act or careless one. Needless to say, a defective or poorly designed consumer product can also cause harm to an individual, in which case the manufacturer, and even the distributor of that defective product — may be sued based on a plaintiff’s argument that the negligent party was legally responsible for the injury(s) sustained by the injured party.

In addition to car, motorcycle and trucking accidents, my office represents individuals harmed as a result of work-related accidents, medical malpractice and negligence at an assisted living facility. Injuries can be one cause of a personal injury lawsuit, as can be permanently disabling emotional harm from some kind of accident.

When it comes to auto and truck crashes, local government and police agencies many times will attempt to limit the potential for injury on public roads. This can be done in a number of ways, including improved signage, better roadway engineering, increased police presence or designated pedestrian walkways and bicycle lanes. Most recently, the authorities in St. Mary’s County have been looking into the installation of so-called “red-light cameras” along a stretch of Rte 235.

According to news reports, the St. Mary’s County sheriff’s office is studying the cost-benefit of these eyes in the sky. Based on news articles, the local sheriff will begin researching the use of red-light cameras in order to help reduce accidents throughout the county.

This may not be a bad idea, since St. Mary’s typically experiences about 10 car wrecks each day — according to last year’s traffic statistics. Police in that part of the state note that out of more than 3,500 collisions in 2010, 12 of those were fatal and one-third of those involved pedestrian deaths.

While the decision is likely months away, traffic accident statistics will have to be collected and analyzed to determine of cameras are warranted based on cost per unit and the expected reduction of collisions at each potential location. These days, many cynics might argue that the move is based on potential traffic fines, however the sheriff’s office denies that it’s solely a revenue issues. It’s been stated that adopting the cameras would be first and foremost to reduce road accidents.

Red-light cameras considered along Route 235,, November 22, 2011

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