Every day, thousands of people are involved in car accidents in the United States. Some states have taken measures to prevent or minimize car crashes. As a result, traffic cameras have been implemented as a way to stop people from disobeying traffic laws. Unfortunately, many people do not follow the law and cause car accidents. Can you utilize a traffic camera footage to prove a negligent driver injured you? Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm explain more about traffic cameras and how can they impact your intersection accident claim in Pennsylvania.
How Do Intersection Cameras Work?
Traffic cameras are usually installed on top of traffic lights. These cameras are in charge of monitoring the traffic flow. However, there are different types of cameras each of which performs differently. Common types of traffic cams include those listed below.
Speed cameras utilize radar to read a car’s average speed. Usually, these types of traffic cameras will take pictures of a vehicle driving above speed limits. The law requires these cameras to be installed in the middle of a road, where they should be easily identifiable by all drivers.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition Cameras (ANPR)
An ANPR camera is a fixed mounted camera, usually installed on police vehicles. These gadgets will automatically recognize vehicles’ license plates, which will allow patrolling officers to identify any lawbreaker or offender.
Red Light Cameras
These types of gadgets are mounted on top of traffic lights. They are in charge of monitoring cars that run red lights. These cams are commonly seen in most intersections. The police officer will review the photos taken by the camera. If the officer determines there was a violation, they will mail a citation to the offender.
Under Pennsylvania law, traffic cameras are permitted in cities with a population over 20,000 that have a local ordinance justifying its need. In Pennsylvania, if you are caught running a red light, you will likely pay a fine. You may face harsher penalties if you caused injuries, or the wrongful death of another person.
Can I Obtain Traffic Camera Footage?
You may attempt to obtain traffic cam footage to prove another driver was at fault for your injuries. However, this may not be as easy as you may think. Private companies or the government own many traffic cameras. Generally, you cannot demand a copy of video footage from a privately-owned camera.
You may wonder what your options are in this type of scenario are. You may be granted access to a traffic cam footage by filing a subpoena with help from a personal injury lawyer. A subpoena is a court-issued order to produce documents or information, or summoning a person to appear in court.
There are two different types of subpoenas. The first type of subpoena is known as subpoena ad testificandum. This subpoena requires the respondent to testify before the court. To have access to information such as video footage, the petitioner must file a subpoena duces tecum.
Obtaining video footage from a traffic camera can be difficult. For instance, the state of New Jersey has a camera system that allows recording. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) monitors and records traffic and retains it for seven days. Any requestor must file a traffic camera video log request to obtain a copy of a specific traffic timeline.
In Pennsylvania, obtaining a copy from a transit camera can be next to impossible. This is due to the lack of infrastructure and the necessary equipment to capture and retain traffic camera video footage. There are hundreds of cameras scattered throughout the state. These cameras are placed in strategic areas to allow surveillance and quick response in the event of an accident. This means video footage is monitored rather than recorded and stored.
If you get involved in a car crash at an intersection, you may need to resort to other strategies to prove the other party’s negligence. One of the most important things you should do after a car accident is obtain all the essential information from the other driver. Some of the critical information you should collect from the other driver includes the following:
- Telephone number
- Insurance company information
If you are able, use your smartphone to take pictures and video from the crash scene. All the information you gather can prove to be helpful in future proceedings. A skilled car accident lawyer can help you through the entire process.
Philadelphia Car Accident Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
Showing the other driver was at fault for your injuries requires experience, skill, and knowledge. At The Reiff Law Firm, we have gained extensive experience handling hundreds of personal injury claims. We know how to hold the liable parties accountable for your losses. If you or a loved one was injured due to the negligent actions of a careless driver, our car accident attorneys can help. To learn more about your case in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (215) 246-9000, or contact us online.