Red-Light Cameras Just Don’t Work

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Red-Light Cameras Just Don’t Work

Postby TeMerc » Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:48 pm

Published on August 18, 2008

Red-light cameras are designed to take a picture of a car’s license plate if the driver runs a red light. These cameras are popping up in city after city as officials theorize that if drivers know they’re being watched, they’ll be less likely to run the lights. But do they work? Or is it just another way to increase city revenue from traffic tickets.

Well, according to study after study, rather than improving motorist safety, red-light cameras significantly increase crashes and therefore, raise insurance premiums. In fact, the only studies that have shown any benefit to red-light cameras were either done by the IIHS…the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or researchers funded by them. How very strange, don’t you think? The most recent study revealing the truth about the cameras was done by researchers at the University of South Florida College of Public Health.

“The rigorous studies clearly show red-light cameras don’t work,” said lead author Barbara Langland-Orban, professor and chair of health policy and management at the USF College of Public Health. “Instead, they increase crashes and injuries as drivers attempt to abruptly stop at camera intersections.”

Apparently, the findings have been known for some time. A 2001 paper by the Office of the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives reported that red-light cameras are “a hidden tax levied on motorists.” The report came to the same conclusions that all of the other valid studies have, that red-light cameras are associated with increased crashes and that the timings at yellow lights are often set too short to increase tickets for red-light running. That’s right, the state actually tampers with the yellow light settings to make them shorter, and more likely to turn red as you’re driving through them.

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