Red light cameras fail to reduce crashes, report says

Red light cameras at two Clearwater, Fla., intersections have failed to reduce the incidence of traffic crashes, according to a report by the Clearwater Police Department. Cameras are considered effective if the number of red light violations decreases by at least 15 percent.

The number of car accidents that occurred at one of the monitored intersections went up by 40 percent and by 22 percent at the other. Three of the crashes at one of the intersections were related to red light violations. The intersections were selected on the basis of accident frequency in the three months that preceded the installation of the cameras last in July 2012.

Officials are not ready to attribute the greater frequency of crashes to the presence of the cameras. The report states that the impact of cameras on crashes is “inconclusive,” based only on the small sample size that was available from the six-month pilot program. Other factors such as changes in traffic patterns and the increase in the number of vehicles on the road are cited in the report as potential causes of an increase in car crashes at the monitored intersections. More time is needed to study traffic patterns to fully evaluate whether the cameras are reducing crashes related to red light violations, according to officials.

Red light violations often result in crashes that cause catastrophic injuries requiring years of medical treatment and therapy. Motorists who are injured by a negligent driver may have access to legal representation by Florida personal injury attorneys. Victims of automobile crashes may recover compensation for personal injury, damages, lost wages and other legal considerations.

Source: Clearwater Patch, “Crashes Increased at Red Light Camera Intersections ,” Jared Leone, March 3, 2013

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