Red Light Cameras May Increase Fatalities: USF Study

Categories: Broward News
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Everyone knows red light cameras suck. But now a new study from the University of South Florida indicates that they might actually be dangerous and lead to an increase in red-light-running fatality rates in cities that use them.

The research, published in the Florida Public Health Review, tore apart a study released last year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety -- an industry group funded by insurance companies -- that said red light cameras could have prevented 815 deaths if installed nationwide.

The USF researchers raised several concerns with they way in which the industry group collected and analyzed the data. "Our review reveals the 2011 IIHS study is logically flawed and violates basic scientific research methods that are required for a study's findings to be valid," the USF researchers wrote. "It has neither internal nor external validity. More importantly, the IIHS did not fully explain the results of its analysis."

After analyzing the data in a way that's not logically flawed, the USF team concluded that cities using red light cameras had a 25 percent higher rate of red-light-running fatalities when compared with cities not using them.

Among the concerns with the original study is the "dissimilarity between the cities chosen to represent camera enforcement and the camera-free cities." Many of the camera-free cities had few or zero red-light-running fatalities, making it impossible for there to be a reduction in accidents in a before-and-after comparison. 

The motive for the IIHS to present data favorable to red light cameras is simple:
Tickets from red light cameras can help drive up insurance rates. 

"In Florida, a state insurance specialist explained that RLC tickets can be used in underwriting, similar to other tickets, to increase a driver's automobile insurance rate, even though the tickets do not add points to a driver's license," the USF researchers wrote. 

Seems like the only thing red light cameras are good for is providing fodder for YouTube.


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10 comments
platehood
platehood

 A photo enforcement system has never stopped unsafe driving as it occurs. It has been proven that these systems are DANGEROUS and increase accidents in areas where they are deployed. How can blinding and distracting drivers with a searing flash improve anyones "safety"? Instead of increasing the yellow light timing cycles at intersections, they can mount a scamera and profit from you instead. Your personal information is being recorded 24/7 and stored by private companies wether an infraction has occured or not. Protect your privacy and hard earned dollars with the PlateHood. Drive safely!!

DiegoHenry
DiegoHenry

I always suspected that they increase fatalities.  Other side effects;  They (indirectly) block emergency vehicles because cars stopped at a camera hesitate to get out of the way, increase rearenders, send $$$ to Oz, AZ or Goldman-Sachs, where it won't comeback, and drive tourists and shoppers away.

Worse, a false expectation of safety, because camerascan't stop the real late runners, who cause the accidents. (If cameras worked,camera sellers wouldn't have their videos of crashes.)

Want safety, no side effects?

To cut car/pedestrian accidents, train your kids not tostep out just 'cuz the walk sign came on.

To cut nuisance running (a fraction of a second late),lengthen the yellows. It's cheap to do so can be done all over town.

The dangerous real late (multiple seconds) runs won't bestopped by the mere presence of a camera, because the runner won't know (a losttourist) or won't remember (a distracted or impaired "local") thatthere's a camera up ahead.  They're not doing it on purpose! To cut thereal late runs, improve the visual cues that say, "Intersectionahead." Florida's DOT found that better pavement markings (paint!) cutrunning by up to 74%. Make the signal lights bigger, add backboards, and putthe poles on the NEAR side of the corner. Put brighter bulbs in the streetlights at intersections. Put up lighted name signs for the cross streets.

Who needs cameras and their side effects?

JOEYPAD
JOEYPAD

these camers were supposed to at high accident points..damn they are at every intersection  in broward county..even where  hardly any cars  pass thru..big bs just money makers

Cindy Creen
Cindy Creen

not to mention, the tickets. u can not fight them, who knows whose driving the ticket should go to the  driver, the one doing the speeding not to the car its b.s. the car does not drive itself the wrong person is usually paying the ticket.

Freddy
Freddy

I read that 6 page paper and it is fraught with its own problems.Correlation baby

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

Too  bad we cant get rid of them.  Too much money being thrown around.  Ive seen the damage these cameras actually do, not just here but in other states as well.  They make things much worse rather than safer.

spudnixx
spudnixx

By your reasoning, red lights cause accidents.

Yellows could last an hour and people would still run the red.

Nothing can stop the idiots in this state who ignore traffic controls, however, cameras  make it more expensive to flaunt basic traffic law, such as pedestrian walk lights, because the possibility of killing a person crossing the street when they're legally allowed to doesn't seem to be tragic enough, but paying a ticket has everyone crying like little school girls.

You could paint the road until it was high as a speed bump with no effect. People who ignore the red light and a line of cars at right angles to the direction they're traveling, meaning INTERSECTION, aren't going to be stopped by white paint

Who needs buttheads who can't follow the most fundamental rules of operating an automobile, on the road.

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

Actually there have been studies on this.  If you do extend the yellow, and not by a lot, it DOES cut back on accidents.  Yes, there are always some idiot who will run the red, but with a longer yellow it gives the rational drivers time to slow down and stop.

spudnixx
spudnixx

Okay, I'm game, make an adjustment to the timing of the yellow lights. If it works, that's wonderful, but I think you'll hear the same whining from the same people about the cameras.

Apparently, the fact that running a red GUARANTEES there will be traffic crossing directly in front of you which will result in a collision that damages both vehicles and possibly kills people isn't enough of a deterrent.

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