In fact, cameras may contribute to more deaths because people are so focused on the possibility of getting caught under the red light that they are not paying attention to their driving. When I approach an intersection with a camera, I cannot decide whether to speed up before the light turns yellow or slow down because I think the light is going to turn yellow. At this time I am a dangerous driver because I am not watching what is going on around me. My only focus is on the traffic signal.
Several times, while driving in heavy traffic, the person in front of me hit the brakes when the light turned yellow and crawled through the intersection. Unable to stop in time or back up I found myself in the middle of the intersection under a red light with oncoming traffic to my left and right. If the person in front of me had not hit the brakes and crawled through the yellow light, both of us could have made it through the intersection before the light turned red. Fortunately this has not happened at an intersection with cameras or I would have been charged with running a red light.
Going before a judge to explain the circumstances behind my being caught under a red light would be a waste of time because the photograph is all the evidence needed to convict me. The photograph, lacking the ability to use logic and reason, would not be able to prove that I was unable to pass through the intersection because the car in front of me slowed. Despite the fact that I was trapped under the red light by no fault of my own and there is reasonable doubt concerning my guilt, the photo said I was guilty, therefore I must be guilty.
Cameras at intersections have nothing to do with saving lives and everything to do with state-sponsored extortion. Accidents resulting in death at intersections are usually caused by drivers that are driving the speed limit but not paying attention when they drive through an already red light and get broadsided or broadside someone else.
Almost all of the tickets that result from photographs show a vehicle that is under a light that just turned red. This poses little danger to drivers that are stopped and waiting for the light to change. In order to have a collision the driver that is stopped would have to leap out into the intersection to hit the car that is just exiting the intersection as the light turns red.
Cameras at intersections remind me of the old Soviet Russian police state where law-abiding citizens, despite their best efforts, found themselves in trouble with the state for some minor or irrelevant infraction.