Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Looks Like Photo Red Light Cameras Do Work

This isn't likely to stop the debate over photo red light enforcement cameras but it does lend credence to the argument that these cameras do improve public safety. There's a story over at KUT News that has this bit from a recent study:
The traffic-ologists at TTI examined 11,000 crash records from all those red light camera intersections. They found that red light crashes dropped by a quarter, and right-angle or “T-bone” crashes plummeted by 32 percent. 
Their study included a look at Austin, and found that red light cameras reduced collisions here by 34 percent. 
“These findings show clearly that red light cameras offer significant safety benefits,” study author Troy Walden said in a press release.
The big issue with photo red light enforcement cameras is the perception that these cameras are more about revenue generation than about public safety. This is the first study I have seen so far that was conducted by someone without a dog in that fight. Many of the other studies were conducted by entities having a vested financial interest in the use of the cameras such as the city that gets the money or the company that sold/installed the systems.

If you're going to try to defuse some of the criticism of these systems, an unbiased look at their effectiveness is probably a good start.

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