I was watching an interview with the TomTom CEO on CNBC World the other night and heard an interesting fact about the safety of GPS navigation systems. Like cell phones, many people tend to get distracted and too dependent on their GPS navigation system while driving. Accident history is starting to show a high correlation with GPS navigation users and drivers who are making sudden driving decisions. I am not someone who blames the device manufacturer for these accidents but I do think the utility of GPS navigation devices will need to improve in order to save publicity nightmares. These devices may be teaching bad driving habits enabling users to get too dependent on turn by turn directions which often leads to confusion when presented with an obstacle in the road that doesn't exist on the map. I think the market and utility of GPS navigation systems will evolve into "GPS warning systems" for traffic accidents ahead, red light cameras, speed cameras, school crossings and routes with lots of bicycle rides.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | accidents, GPS Navigation, Mobile Ads, Navigation, red light cameras, Safety Cameras, TeleAtlas, TomTom, Traffic School, warning devices
Thursday, July 10, 2008 | accidents, ATS, Auto Insurance, California, City Council, Crashes, Fighting Tickets, Fines, Insurance, Laws, Photo Notice, red light cameras, RedFlex, research, revenue, Texas, Tickets, Virginia, Yellow Lights
- According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), drivers who run red lights account for 22% of all traffic accidents in the United States.
- An IIHS study in Oxnard, California showed that red light running violations dropped 42% after red light cameras was introduced. A similar study in Fairfax, Virginia showed violations declined 40% after one year after.
- Publicity of red light cameras deters violations.
- Red light cameras don’t have biases and therefore drivers cannot be unfairly profiled.
- Privacy issues are null because of the public setting. Also, only people violating the law are photographed.
- They make lots of money for cities in need of the revenue.
Those who oppose the use of red light cameras say . . .
- The owner might not have been driving the car, yet they are mailed owner the ticket.
- Cameras increase other types of accidents, such as rear ending collisions, when people notice the camera and make hasty decisions to avoid ticketing. A Virginia Transportation Research Council study shows an increase of accidents with the installment of red light cameras.
- Longer yellow lights can make intersections much safer, in an easy and inexpensive way (check out the findings of the Texas Transportation Institute)
- There is no standardization of yellow light duration and several cities have been caught shortening them around a red light camera to increase revenue.
- Insurance companies (including IIHS) support red light cameras because more tickets mean they can raise insurance rates
- The accused receive notification weeks after the violation and there are no human witnesses to analyze the whole situation.
- They are expensive to operate and service the tickets in our court system.
- There are not stands to the fines through the U.S. which range from $50-$400.