The AAA supports the use of the cameras, but Sinclair agrees that their use needs to be monitored so drivers aren't taken advantage of.
"We've seen ambers as short as a second in those areas where they might be wanting to, let's say, enhance revenue," he said. "There needs to be a national standard for the length of amber lights."
A study released in January by the Texas Transportation Institute concluded that extending a yellow light by 1.5 seconds would decrease red-light-running by at least 50 percent.
The institute also found that cameras do have a positive impact: that intersections equipped with the devices saw a 40 percent decrease in violations on average. They also found that the cameras had a kind of "halo" effect, where nearby intersections also saw a drop in violations.
The NMA says that towns and cities that want to use red-light cameras disregard studies that question the cameras' effectiveness, instead turning to studies quoted by groups like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is supported by many of the nation's insurance providers.
The insurance institute's Web site shows that it believes in the cameras and sees them as a powerful weapon against red-light runners.
Skrum argues that insurance companies have a vested interest in the success of the cameras.
"The insurance industry is going to profit from the cameras," he said, "because more cameras means more tickets being issued and then they can raise the drivers' insurance rates."
In addition, the companies that manufacture, install and maintain the cameras generally make their profit from a portion of the ticket revenue the devices generate.
Because of this, Skrum says, anything that might cause a decrease in tickets generated by the cameras would mean a decrease in profits for the camera manufacturers, the insurance companies and local municipalities.
"In many instances, engineering is being ignored because it's easier to put up a camera," Skrum said. "It's more lucrative to put up a camera."
In a "prove us wrong" type move, NMA is offering a cash prize for proof that dangerous intersections can't be improved through engineering.
In certain parts of the country, NMA is offering to bring in its own engineer to study any intersection equipped with a camera and to make recommendations on how the intersection could be made safer through improved engineering.
The group says that if its recommendations are implemented in place of the camera, the intersection will see at least a 50 percent decline in red-light violations. If not, a $10,000 donation will be made toward a road safety or road improvement program of that community's choosing.
"We're putting our money where our mouth is," Skrum explained. "We're saying if you address the problem with an engineering solution, you won't need a camera."
So far, no one has taken the challenge.