Listed as the seventh-best place in the US for family life, Vista in northern San Diego County, California has nearly 96,000 people. Despite this distinction, reckless drivers have taken their toll. As a number of Vista car accident attorneys will tell you, the city has seen its share of tragic car collisions, often caused by red-light runners.
Accident statistics from 2001 to 2003 reveal that Vista had 22 fatal car collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This comes out to 2.4 fatal Vista car crashes per 10,000 people. While this is below the national average, it could be far better.
Statistics compiled by the California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) show that in 2006,12 people were killed and 373 were injured in Vista car crashes. Pedestrian car collisions resulted in one death and 27 injuries. Bicyclists suffered 25 injuries. Motorcycle accidents killed two and injured 14. Additionally, in 2006, DUI crashes took four lives and resulted in 67 injuries. In 2007, 11 car accidents resulted in as many fatalities.
On April 17, 2009, a traffic collision killed one man and severely injured another on Highway 78 just west of Melrose Drive. The vehicle had come from W. Vista Way and Santa Clara Drive and had rolled over onto Highway 78. The passenger was ejected and later died from his injuries. The 26-year-old male driver was hospitalized, treated for his injuries, and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and gross vehicular manslaughter.
According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, approximately 45% of all car crashes occur at intersections.
To reduce the number of car accidents and injuries, Vista opted to install red-light cameras at key crash-prone intersections throughout the city. Four red-light camera systems were installed along College Blvd. at Frazee Rd., Highway 76, Oceanside Blvd., and Waring Rd. Red-light cameras were also set up along Vista Way at Emerald Dr. and S. El Camino Real. And along Melrose Dr. at Oceanside Blvd and Hacienda. Additional cameras have gone up at Mesa Dr. and College Blvd., S. Santa Fe Ave and Vista Village, Santa Fe and Escondido, and Shadowridge and Sycamore.
Many Vista car collision lawyers have noted that red-light cameras, when used appropriately, can help prevent car accidents. They also admit that these systems act a deterrent to would-be scofflaws who may be tempted to run a red light.