It's happening here, too. It seems to be a myriad of things:
1. There are more people on the road,
2. there are more distractions in the car, in general (radio, kids, phones, etc.),
3. there are increased attention-getting distractions outside the car (billboards, blinking signs, sign twirling people),
4. there are more lights due to more commercial build-up (which can affect road flow, in concert with #2-3 above),
5. there DOES seem to be a "more in a hurry" frame of mind these days, because -
6. there are A LOT of over-scheduled people rushing around to do all of their things, and
7. there are social norms evolving that people truly DO feel more "self-important" and thus, justified.
And, around here, the roads are congested because infrastructure hasn't kept up with growth. Add to that the fact that people around me tend to keep the same working hours as each other (standard 9-5) and that many people average a 45-90 minute commute one-way ... it's like everyone is on the road at the same time - heading to work, heading home from work, running errands. They're tired of the grind, the drive, the congestion, and they try to minimize their sits at reds. And it's really sad that all of that takes a "back seat" to how dangerous it is to run through an intersection.
When one of my sons still had his permit, he did hit the brakes upon coming to a red. We have ABS and he locked them, causing us to skid into another car. The police officer who responded to the accident suggested we teach all of our teen drivers how to use the ABS (it hadn't occurred to us before that), and suggested that if it was a close call ... like on a short or missed yellow where stopping would be as dangerous as maintaining speed ... to reduce speed, and continuously honk our way through a red intersection. I ran that by my insurance agent who said that the officer was correct in terms of how to run a red as safely as possible but that the right move was to avoid running a red at all - even if it meant braking hard at that red.
My town has cameras at red lights. My county ... I don't know if they said it was unconstitutional, or if it was something else, but for some reason the county I live in doesn't enforce ticketing. Anyone who is caught on camera is sent a ticket, but payment of the ticket isn't enforced. The only inconvenience is that registration can't be renewed online, it must be done in person (I guess so that the office can manually override the "unpaid" ticket from the red light camera.)