You’ve likely heard the saying “speed kills” before. It, therefore, shouldn’t come as a surprise that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data cites speed as the primary contributing factor to at least 26% of all car accidents.
Despite the dangers speed clearly poses, there hasn’t been any legislation authorizing the installation or use of speed cameras in Mississippi. Red light cameras are prohibited in the state, too.
While many jurisdictions use these cameras to enforce established traffic laws, many drivers in Biloxi, Gulfport, and other parts of Mississippi continue to violate the law, endangering the lives of fellow motorists. This happens because there’s no concern about a camera catching them recklessly driving if a police officer isn’t nearby.
What Is Automated Enforcement?
Both red light cameras and speeding cameras are referred to as automated enforcement devices. These cameras are generally installed inside a vehicle, on a phone post adjacent to the road, or alongside traffic signals in work or school zones and other problem areas. They allow law enforcement officials to monitor for violations of traffic laws remotely.
When Were Speed Cameras Outlawed in Mississippi?
In 2009, our state’s then-governor Haley Barbour banned using red light and speed cameras. He did so with bipartisan majority support. No one has been successful in overturning that prohibition since.
Many cities across Mississippi had already entered into contracts to have speeding and red light cameras installed or were already using them at the time they were outlawed, including:
All of the above Mississippi cities were required to cease any installation negotiations immediately or were ordered to disconnect and uninstall their cameras within a few months of the ban going into effect.
Why Were Red Light and Speeding Cameras Banned in Mississippi?
Many lawmakers who proposed banning the cameras in 2009 did so after amassing independent research showing these traffic law enforcement devices don’t reduce intersection accidents but instead lead to an increase in these types of collisions.
How Effective Are Speed Cameras in Limiting Traffic Accidents?
Recent research cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that speeding cameras are far more beneficial than they were understood to be back in 2009 when Mississippi’s governor banned them.
The federal agency’s research shows that speed cameras reduce motor vehicle accidents by as much as 49%. Those statistics also show that it can decrease the chances of a car crash that causes serious injuries or fatalities by as much as 44%.
Despite this, according to the National Council of State Legislatures, only 16 states and the District of Columbia authorize the use of speed cameras. Mississippi is only one among a small class of six states that prohibit the use of both speed and red light cameras.
Dangers Associated With Speeding
NHTSA has compiled a list of many dangers associated with speeding, which include:
- An increase in chances of losing control of a vehicle
- A reduction in the effectiveness of a vehicle’s protective equipment, such as air bags
- A higher catastrophic car accident risk
Accidents attributable to speeding tend to be the ones most apt to leave individuals with life-threatening head or spinal cord injuries or internal organ damage if they are fortunate enough to survive the collision. However, many motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists are unfortunate because they lose their lives in these crashes. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be ideal when unexpected, preventable deaths like these occur.
Speed-related crashes tend to result in permanent injuries or fatalities because it takes speeding motorists significantly longer to brake once they visualize a potential hazard. Cars are built to absorb and disperse some of a crash’s force but can’t withstand the amount of force a speeding vehicle creates.
Proving That a Speeding Motorist Caused Your Accident
If a speeding motorist hurt you or claimed the life of a loved one, then you may wonder what options you have for proving that a driver was at-fault for your injuries or your relative’s death.
Had speed cameras not been banned in Mississippi, you’d likely be able to subpoena radar data, still images, and video footage showing the at-fault motorist’s speeding. However, since that isn’t a possibility here, you may need to secure other evidence proving they were operating their vehicle recklessly, including:
- Surveillance footage from businesses or homes in the area
- Witness accounts detailing what they saw immediately preceding the crash
It can also be helpful to bring in a crash scene investigator or reconstructionist to try and pinpoint how fast vehicles might have been traveling when the accident occurred. They can often determine this by looking at skid marks on the pavement and vehicle damage.
Our car accident law firm will move quickly to preserve evidence in your case necessary to prove driver negligence occurred.
Understanding Your Legal Options After a Speeding Motorist Strikes You
When a motorist speeds by us or runs a red light, most of us feel pretty fortunate that they didn’t hurt us with their reckless driving. A select few end up entangled in crashes that leave them with lasting impairments that never allow them to return to life as they once knew it. Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law can help.
Our Biloxi law firm has a long track record of fighting for justice on behalf of clients who’ve suffered life-altering injuries or have experienced the untimely passing of a loved one due to a motorist’s negligence. Mississippi law allows you to recover monetary compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and other accident-related losses you suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. Our legal team is prepared to help you do the same.
Scheduling an initial consultation is the first step to holding a negligent motorist liable for their actions. Let us help you in this process.