Friday, January 25, 2013
IIHS Study Shows Red Light Cameras Reduce Accidents
In the latest study confirming the benefits of red light cameras, researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that red light running rates declined at Arlington, Va., intersections equipped with cameras. The decreases were particularly large for the most dangerous violations, those happening 1 1/2 seconds or longer after the light turned red.
In Arlington, cameras were installed at four heavily traveled intersections in June 2010. One year after the start of ticketing, the odds of a red light running violation at the camera locations went down. Violations occurring at least 0.5 seconds after the light turned red were 39 percent less likely than would have been expected without cameras. Violations occurring at least 1 second after were 48 percent less likely, and the odds of a violation occurring at least 1.5 seconds into the red phase fell 86 percent.
"What these numbers show is that those violations most likely to lead to a crash are reduced the most," says Anne McCartt , senior vice president for research at IIHS and the study's lead author. "The longer the light has been red when a violator enters an intersection, the more likely the driver is to encounter a vehicle traveling in another direction or a pedestrian."
The number of U.S. communities using red light cameras has grown to about 540 as study after study shows that the devices improve safety. A 2011 IIHS study of large cities with longstanding red light cameras found that cameras reduced the fatal red light running crash rate by 24 percent and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 17 percent.
Arlington has already added funds to its 2013 budget for additional cameras.