COLLIER COUNTY, FL – An exclusive NBC2 investigation into red light traffic cameras answers whether roads were safer in Collier County during the program.
The cameras were in place for 47 months before being removed and at the time the majority of commissioners said there was no proof they made streets safer.
We looked through crash and injury data provided by Collier County for the 47 months during the program and 18 months since the program went offline.
We found that on average, there were ten more accidents a month after the cameras were removed; than when they were there.
While less people were killed the average number of crashes with injuries went up. So did the types of accidents, like the ones caused by running red lights, head on collisions and following too closely; all categories law enforcement officers say lead to serious crashes.
In total, 16 of 21 cash and injury categories tracked by the county went up since the cameras were shut off.
Commissioner Donna Fiala voted to keep the cameras in place. After looking at the new data she said “wow, that kind of says something right there doesn’t it? It says it loud and clear.”
Commissioners Georgia Hiller, Tim Nance and Tom Henning voted to end the program at the beginning of 2013.
Only commissioner Henning agreed to talk with us. We asked him if the new numbers will prompt discussion to bring the cameras back?
Henning said “I wouldn’t say that at all, I haven’t seen any evidence that it needs to.”
When we showed Henning the crash and injury data he told us he’s heard no concern from law enforcement. “I’m sure the Sheriff
Sheriff Kevin Rambosk declined to comment on this report but sent commissioners a letter in 2012 warning about the risks of taking down the cameras. The letter says in part “I believe the program had merit when initiated and still has merit today in helping make our streets safer.”
Commissioner Henning says he plans to ask the Sheriff to look over the most updated data that we used and report the findings to commissioners.
No time table has been set for when that might happen.
View the original article at nbc-2.com.