Safety Groups Push For More Red Light Cameras As Fatalities Climb

Many drivers hate red light cameras, but a number of safety groups have joined forces to increase their adoption rates.

As noticed by The Drive, four groups – including AAA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – have teamed up to encourage cities and towns to use red light cameras. The push comes as a result of five conservative years of increased fatalities caused by drivers who run red lights.

According to data provided by the IIHS, 811 people were killed as a result of red light runners in 2016. That’s an increase of 115 fatalities since 2012 and this represents a climb of 17 percent.

While the number of fatalities is below their recent peak of 1,009 deaths in 2001, the groups believe the figure is still too high. The increase in fatalities also comes at time when the number of red light cameras in America are on the decline.

The IIHS says there are currently 421 communities in the country with red light camera programs, but that’s a decline from the 533 communities which used them in 2012. That is a large decrease and the group says this is a result of community opposition, a reduction in citations and the lack of financial viability allowing for operations to continue.

 

 

To help combat this trend, the safety groups have compiled a red light camera checklist for policymakers, law enforcement agencies and transportation officials. The list covers a variety of topics and notes members of the public typically support red light cameras, but that support can “erode when programs are poorly run or perceived to be centered on generating revenue rather than on preventing crashes.”

To prevent this and other issues, the groups say cameras needs to be placed at intersections where red light runners are a problem. Officials also need to ensure that yellow lights are providing enough time to alert drivers and allow them to come to a stop.

Interestingly, the report suggests cities only target “violations with the greatest safety consequences.” This could help to improve acceptance by members of the community as many have probably encountered a situation where they couldn’t stop for a light in time.

 

  • дапвт

    If this group did even an ounce of research, they would know that red light cameras and speed cameras DO NOT work. We’ve been over this already, which is why so many cities are ditching these cameras.

    • botornot387

      Exactly, We have had many studies show that red light cameras in particular cause accidents when people slam on their brakes to avoid getting a ticket, thereby getting rear ended. What they should show is how many of these accidents also had the influence of distractions plus the red light, i.e. on your phone or otherwise.

      • Six_Tymes

        said another red light runner.

        • jcwconsult

          Said someone who actually read the unbiased research.
          James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

    • TheBelltower

      Speed cameras don’t work. But red light cameras provide valuable information about the cause of accidents.

      • дапвт

        You don’t need red light cameras for that. You can use intersection cameras.

        • TheBelltower

          Okay, so cameras. Yes.

        • LeStori

          Where I live, the “red light Cameras” detect both speed and running a red light. You can lose 6 licence points in one go. Rack up 12 and you start walking.

      • Stephen G

        A blind man that interviewed witnesses can tell you that a jerk ran a red light. As a tax payer I don’t want to fund useless expenses like cameras at intersections. A camera isn’t going to stop an inattentive driver. Why don’t you get a camera for your own car if it bothers you that much.

    • Six_Tymes

      said the red light runner

      • jcwconsult

        Said someone who actually read the unbiased research from groups that do NOT share camera loot.
        James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

    • Marty

      I thought that the consensus was that they work, but that we don’t have good enough data to know exactly how big the effect is. At least that was what the review of 35 worldwide studies concluded some years ago.

      Do you have links to published reports that come to a totally different conclusion?

      • LeStori

        Not sure if speed (aka safety ) cameras work but intersection cameras combining speeding and running a red light along with a point system, causes red light runners to lose their licence very quickly. Does not, however stop them from driving unlicenced.

      • jcwconsult

        See our website under the red light cameras issue.
        James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  • Puddingpopper

    Maybe its the gull dang cell phones… in 2001 it musta been the Tomagachis

  • Mi Lito
  • Six_Tymes

    “Groups” where i live pushed for cameras in all intersections around the city, it took years and huge expense. Not surprising, fatal accidents went way down with the cameras installed., Less than 5 years passed after installations and another “group” comes along and pushes to take the city to court, saying the cameras threaten the drivers privacy, the city responded eventually by taking ALL the cameras down, fatal intersection accidents went right back up, in fact one occurred the day of camera removal. Neither of the “groups” have spoken since.

    • Knotmyrealname

      You have to go back to the source of why people want to run a red light. Is the rest of the road system so messed up that by the time they get to another obstacle (the red light) they just lose it? Some countries trialled removing red lights altogether and incidents plummeted, because people naturally approached the intersection with caution and were prepared for a ‘give way’ mentality.
      Go back to the ‘reason of why’ and don’t just throw more and more controls over people.

    • Stephen G

      That sounds like BS. How does anybody know if there is a camera in an intersection? Is there a sign that says so? If that’s true then all we need is a sign that says there’s a camera. Or you can cover the costs yourself if it bothers you.

      • SgtBeavis

        In many cases, yes there is a sign that says a red light camera is present.

        However, I think you’re on to something there. Put up a sign and perhaps even a dummy camera. Also, lengthen the yellow light to an appropriate amount. That right there will help a lot.

  • Dr Professor Weezle Eye

    Safety Group = Red Light Camera Manufacturers

  • BlackPegasus

    Red Light Cameras are nothing more than a driving tax for motorists. It’s also a lazy way for cities and counties to supplement their budgets.

    • LeStori

      Yet whilst I do not disagree that speeding cameras are a rort, if you do not speed you definitely do not pay a fine and feed the system. Similarly with red light camers at intersections. If you stop you are not fined . Only those that decide that they want to put everyone else at risk by running a stop light get fined. Often a red light camera is also a speed camera. Double the wammy as a lot of people running a red light are also speeding. If you have a point system and you run a red light whislt speeding might remove half of your allowance of points. Do it twice and you walk or drive illegally.

  • Jay

    i wonder who paid for this article.

  • Jweisberg

    I agree, there should be more red light cameras, as long as the timing of the lights are not modified in order to increase the number of tickets. I see it everyday, people who don’t come to a complete stop when turning at a red lights.

    • jcwconsult

      Red light cameras produce profits above their own typical high costs of $4,000 to $5,000 per month per camera ONLY when the timing of the lights are deliberately done improperly to assure enough tickets to safe drivers for the rackets to make a profit. See our website for how the rackets work.
      James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

      • Jweisberg

        Like I said, messing with the timing is bad and also having a non governmental Corp running the cameras is also bad. However, I do believe the cameras are needed.

        At the 2 major intersections close to my home where cameras have been installed, I have noticed a big drop in people turning on red without stopping.

        • jcwconsult

          The problem, Jweisberg, is that if you time the yellows properly for the ACTUAL perception/reaction times and ACTUAL approach speeds of at least 85% of the drivers to set the lights for safety – then the total fines will almost always be less than $4,000 per month per camera. Cities will not use the for-profit cameras if they produce no profits and become a high cost item in the city budget.

          Note also that slow rolling right on red turns are involved in only six one-hundredths of one percent (0.06% or 0.0006) of crashes with injuries or fatalities – per research by NHTSA in a Report To Congress. Almost every right on red ticket goes to a safe driver.

          If the cameras ticketed only dangerous drivers, no one would object. But then there would be no cameras, the for-profit camera companies would go bankrupt, and cities would be forced to engineer for safety – NOT for profits as many do now to use cameras.

          James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  • schnittz

    That’s BS! Red light cameras are a scam! Nothing more of generating revenue and creating more accidents.

  • Knotmyrealname

    Of course they’re money making schemes. If they were really interested in driver safety, they’d make it harder to get a license in the first place, but the automakers and fuel lobbyists don’t want that. It’s always about the money. Look at most government budgets and they actually forecast their income from these things. Ergo it’s revenue.

  • Knotmyrealname

    Too right.

  • jcwconsult

    Almost all the dangerous t-bone crashes happen when drivers enter intersections after the lights have been red for several seconds. Some researchers find the most dangerous time frame is 5 to 9 seconds into the red. The VAST majority of camera tickets are for split-second violations of less than 1 second into the red – deliberately and maliciously caused by setting the yellow intervals slightly too short for the ACTUAL perception/reaction times and ACTUAL approach speeds of at least 85% of the drivers (safest timing method). These safe drivers who get tickets for inadvertent split-second violations clear the intersections during the all-red phase plus the short start up delay for the cross traffic when they get the green lights – so the crash risks of these drivers are ZERO.

    Red light cameras are for-profit rackets that no moral person should tolerate. Legitimate research by unbiased groups (those NOT in the revenue stream from cameras) almost always shows no safety benefits from the cameras. Reports from the biased groups with financial conflicts of interest including the AAA, IIHS, National Safety Council, the for-profit camera companies, the for-profit city business partners of the camera companies, etc. usually falsely show safety benefits for the cameras by improperly manipulating the data.

    Ticket cameras should be illegal in every state, they are almost always for-profit rackets no one should tolerate.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

    • Knotmyrealname

      Hear hear!

  • jcwconsult

    Slow rolling right on red turns almost never cause crashes, so almost all those tickets go to drivers who endangered no one. The NMA objects to ticketing drivers who were not doing anything dangerous because that is ticketing for profits which we think is morally wrong.

    Crossing the line by up to about one second after the light turns red when the yellow intervals are deliberately set slightly about one second too short for purpose of issuing more tickets for profits is no different than governmental larceny. This is literally stealing from safe drivers to ticket for profits which we think is morally wrong.

    Cameras would be OK if 1) Yellow intervals were set long enough for the ACTUAL perception/reaction times and approach speeds of at least 85% of the drivers (safest timing method) and 2) tickets for slow rolling right on red turns were issued ONLY if the videos revealed a failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, cyclist or another vehicle. You will never see a such a system that only tickets the dangerous drivers because the total fines would not be enough to pay the high camera costs – so there would be no profits. Red light cameras are run by for-profit camera companies and their for-profit city business partners and without profits the for-profit industry would cease to exist.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  • jcwconsult

    Note also that slow rolling right on red turns are involved in only six one-hundredths of one percent (0.06% or 0.0006) of crashes with injuries or fatalities – per research by NHTSA in a Report To Congress. Almost every right on red ticket goes to a safe driver.

    Some people believe ticketing drivers with those extremely tiny risks is OK, we don’t. You are right that we have an agenda – to stop predatory for-profit ticketing of drivers who are not endangering themselves or anyone else. It is no different than governmental larceny.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

    • Jweisberg

      Pure nonsense. The 0.06 percent represents the number of fatalities that occur in RTOR crashes. So basically “National Motorists Association” representative is saying the lives of the .06% is meaningless and laws are meaningless. Typical ambulance chaser.

      • jcwconsult

        The stat is only 0.06% of crashes with either injuries or fatalities involve a right on red turn and the data includes both drivers that made a full stop and those who didn’t. The % is too small to criminalize the vast majority of drivers who make safe right on red turns – including those who made a full stop and those who didn’t. A 0% risk from crashes cannot be achieved.

        And please note, it is the for-profit camera companies and their for-profit city business partners that are making money with a sort of ambulance chaser mentality. We are the ones trying to end those for-profit rackets.

        James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

        • Jweisberg

          So again, the representative of National Motorists Association thinks it is ok to not come to a complete stop at a red light and rolling stops are fine even though deaths have occurred from rolling stops..

          • jcwconsult

            If you read the Report to Congress carefully, there were 84 fatalities involving a right turning vehicle – out of 485,104. Quoting from the Report: “Thus, less than 0.2 percent of all fatalities involved a right-turning vehicle maneuver at an intersection where RTOR is permitted. FARS, however, does not discern whether the traffic signal was red. Therefore, the actual number of fatal RTOR crashes is somewhere between zero and 84 and may be closer to zero than 84.”

            Deaths have also occurred from right on red turns after the driver stopped. The point is the % is so tiny that letting cameras ticket almost entirely safe drivers who did not cause risks or crashes is wrong. I think we are clear on each other’s positions on this, let us quit.

            James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

          • Jweisberg

            So again, the representative of National Motorists Association thinks it is ok to not come to a complete stop at a red light and rolling stops are fine even though deaths have occurred from rolling stops

          • jcwconsult

            And Jweisberg discounts the right on red deaths that occurred AFTER a full stop.

            That was my last response to someone who seems to have very little comprehension of risks versus justified punishments.

            James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

          • Jweisberg

            “very little comprehension of risks versus justified punishments.”

            LOL, this coming from the person who said rolling stops on a red light are ok even after acknowledging people have died from said rolling stops..

            So because people have died on full stop right turns it is ok to do rolling stop right turns?

            So using your logic, people have died doing 15 mph in a school zone, so it should be ok to do 115 mph in a school zone.

            I really hope you don’t have a JD.

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