By Adam Tuton
February 17, 2014
There are many findings in the latest report on red-light camera programs in Florida, but the most important is the 49 percent decrease in fatal red-light running crashes at intersections with safety cameras. Saving lives is the fundamental purpose for red-light cameras, and our monumental achievement. At American Traffic Solutions, we are proud and honored to serve our communities in this way.
We welcome the other findings and recognize, as OPPAGA itself does, that they reviewed contradictory, inconsistent and incomplete information about rear-end and side-angle crash data. We agree that improved data collection, analysis and coordination with both other state agencies and local communities is sorely needed as well.
For example, another state agency, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) found that 59 percent of the 56 reporting police agencies with community red-light camera programs reported a decrease in total crashes, while 61 percent of the 44 communities tracking angle-crashes reported a decrease in side-impact collisions, and 43 percent reported a decrease in rear-end crashes.
Further and disappointingly, rather than coordinating with the local communities, OPPAGA relied only on state road approaches Without this information, OPPAGA was unable to consider the vast improvements in safety that local communities are experiencing.
Intersections are becoming safer because red-light cameras are getting drivers’ attention, and changing their behavior. From July 2010 to May 2013, the average number of red-light safety camera violations issued per camera, per month, decreased by more than 40 percent. Simply, drivers are avoiding tickets by obeying the law.