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Chicago Study: Redlight cameras cause more rear end collisions.

Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' started by cjvfr, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. On Friday, the Chicago Tribune released the results of a study it commissioned on injury crashes and red light cameras, revealing that while right angle crash incidents have been reduced, rear-end crashes that resulted in injuries went up 22 percent. The results of the study throw cold water on the booster efforts of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration and raise questions about the use of red light cameras as a whole.

    Chicago is the home of the nation's largest red light camera program and encompasses 350 cameras at a variety of the city's intersections. The red light camera program has been accused of mismanagement and embroiled the mayor's office in a $2 million bribery scandal. But recently, administrators trotted out a seemingly redeeming statistic: that the introduction of the cameras had created a 47 percent reduction in the rate of right angle, or “T-bone,” injury crashes.

    The Chicago Tribune in response commissioned a scientific study by two well-regarded transportation researchers, who found that the statistics promoted by the mayor's office were misleading. According to the Tribune, the authors of the study found a statistically significant, but still smaller, reduction in angle and turning injury crashes by 15 percent, as well as “a statistically significant increase of 22 percent in rear-end injury collisions.” Overall, there was “a non-significant increase of 5 percent in the total number of injury crashes” that happened at intersections with red light cameras when comparing the injury crashes that occurred there before and after the cameras were present.

    On a more granular level, the researchers found that there were no safety benefits from cameras that are installed at intersections where there have already been few crashes with injuries, and occasionally, there was evidence that red light cameras actually increased injury crashes at such intersections. "When intersections experiencing fewer than 4 injury crashes per year are considered, there is a significant increase in all crashes by 19 percent after the installation of RLCs," the Tribune study found.

    The Tribune noted that the red light camera program has raised more than $500 million off of the $100 tickets since 2002. "That program needs to be stopped. It needs to be frozen to give us time to re-evaluate everything," Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, 9th, chairman of the council Transportation Committee, told the Tribune. "This is just more proof that this entire program is strictly to generate revenue and always has been."

    Back in July, investigative work by the Chicago Tribune revealed that at least 13,000 Chicago drivers were cited erroneously through the city's red light camera program.

    Doubts about red light camera programs have been creeping into the consciousness of some of the formerly more fervent red light camera supporters in municipal governments. In 2013, Ars chronicled some of the more questionable cases of red light cameras in cities like Modesto, CA. Iowa City and Mississippi have both made the installation of red light cameras illegal. And as recently as November, red light camera company Redflex called North America a “low/no-growth market” due to revenue volatility and federal investigations.

    Arstechnica Article
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  2. Oh to live in a place where the papers investigate independently, not just toe the party line and sell whatever garbage the government peddles
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  3. On the actual study, I have always thought this to be the case with people locking on the brakes scared of the camera.
    Add in the speed cameras included in NSW red light safety cameras and you are damned if you do try and make the light by the speed camera, But if you try and stop because you are in the 50/50 zone, just hope the truck behind you is awake and stops quick too.
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  4. i have seen so many cases first hand of the leading car braking and the following car gassing it followed by locked brakes and a rear ender, or even cars performing emergency stops on the amber when they could have easily cleared the intersection but stopping well over the stop lines then having to reverse back. All this with no regard for what may be following.

    I think the camera name is ironic, but also think its only stupid people who get caught.
  5. I really don't see a problem with red light cameras. The amber phase in Australia lasts a long, long, long time. Almost as long as as the chorus of the Barry Manilow song you are listening to on the stereo system. If you want to experience a short amber light phase, then try out the UK... it is about half the length of time as in Oz. There is plenty of time to stop slowly when a light changes to amber in Australia and there is plenty of time to comfortably get through, without increasing speed, too.
  6. in China lights have a countdown timer showing how much longer the red, or the green is on for before it changes. Somehow though I think that people here might treat it as a "challenge"
  7. Speak for yourself ;)
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  8. I'm ambivalent about red light cameras, on one hand I resent anything that artificially puts my fate closer to the hands of others but tbh they really don't cause me much trouble. Interesting article in any case.
  9. If you look a bit deeper into the arguments with red light camera's over in the US you will find there are issues (and not the only issues by a long way) with the length of the amber light period having been fiddled/shortened to (allegedly) increase the number of fines being issued. In many of these instances the amber duration has been shown to be so short as to not comply with US State or Federal traffic light requirements. In other words, the intended purpose of the camera's (safety) has been prostituted into inflating the amount of revenue generated (dollars). Many court cases where individuals contested the merits of the infringement notices based on these timing issues, and even some court actions directed against the relevant authority, ie city/county/township etc. Redflex has figured prominently in a good number of these cases.
  10. I had forgotten about that report. One thing Gordon Lewis has been good for.