Benefits of North Carolina Red Light Cameras Detailed In New Studies
Programs Produce Drop In Crashes,
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 19, 2005) — Several
new transportation safety studies have found that North Carolina’s
array of red light camera programs have produced significant reductions
in red light running crashes and violations.
North Carolina ranks third in the nation for the number
of communities using this technology. Over 110 communities in 20
states and the District of Columbia are now using red light cameras,
which represents a 40 percent increase in just two years.
“Red light cameras are reducing crashes and
saving lives in North Carolina,” said Tom Crosby, President
of AAA Carolinas Traffic Safety Foundation. “We have seen
these devices evolve from a few pilot projects to integrated parts
of our traffic safety strategies because they are effective in changing
bad driver behavior.”
One new study, conducted by researchers at the Institute
for Transportation Research and Education, in cooperation with North
Carolina State University, reviewed traffic data from over a dozen
intersections in Raleigh considered to be the most dangerous in
the city, half of which had red light cameras. Researchers compared
the “before” and “after” red-light related
accidents between the two groups. The results showed right-angle
accidents were reduced by 42 percent at red-light camera intersections,
with a 25 percent reduction in rear-end accidents Total red-light
related accidents dropped by 22 percent.
“This technology has enabled Raleigh to become
a safer place to live” said Mike Kennon, PE, City Traffic
Engineer of the City of Raleigh. “The phone calls and letters
I receive indicate an overwhelming support of the program.”
A second study released on Jan. 11th is one of the
most comprehensive ever conducted on the economic benefits of photo
enforcement technology in the U.S.. The study analyzed traffic data
from Charlotte and six other U.S. communities that use cameras to
compare the incidence of right-angle crashes, most frequently associated
with red light running to rear-end crashes where photo enforcement
devices are installed.
Charlotte’s traffic data showed crashes at the
city’s red light camera intersections dropped from 4,597 to
2,591, or almost 40 percent. Right-angle crashes dropped by almost
30 percent and rear-end crashes decreased by almost 50 percent.
An additional 2004 study by the Carolina Motor Club
Traffic Safety Foundation made the following conclusions after reviewing
survey results from North Carolina’s red light camera programs:
· All of the communities decided to implement the programs
to improve traffic safety by reducing red light running. Almost
all noted pre-existing problems with traffic signal violations and
· Intersections identified for camera placement tended to
be selected by examining traffic volumes, citation, and crash data.
· The percentage of tickets appealed is quite low, ranging
from one to three percent. This should be reflective of the quality
control review process at the local level. For communities that
reported appeal data, the vast majority of citations are upheld.
“All of these new studies are reinforcing the
value that photo enforcement technology can add real value to traffic
enforcement efforts,” said National Campaign to Stop Red Light
Running Executive Director Leslie Blakey. “North Carolina’s
municipal leaders should be commended for taking advantage of this
opportunity to improve traffic safety by reducing both intersection
crashes and the number of red light running violations.”
In 2003, red light running in the U.S. caused 206,000
crashes, resulting in 934 deaths and 176,000 injuries. Red light
running is the number one cause of intersection crashes in urban
areas. Societal costs top $14 billion per year.
Organizations that have endorsed the use of red light
cameras include; The World Health Organization, the American Association
of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety, the National Safety Council, the Governors Highway
Safety Association, and the International Association of Chiefs
The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running
is a national advocacy group guided by an independent advisory board
that includes leaders from the fields of traffic safety, law enforcement,
transportation engineering, health care and emergency medicine,
as well as crash victims. More information on the Campaign can be
found at www.stopredlightrunning.com.
North Carolina Red
Light Camera Statistics
SPECIFIC RESULTS BY CITY
||One intersection saw violations drop
from a high of over 500 in early 2004 to just 52 in November
2004. The city is waiting for 18 continuous months of data from
all locations before conducting a thorough crash study, however,
preliminary evidence also suggests a drop in crashes.
||In Charlotte, crashes at the city’s red
light camera intersections dropped from 4,597 to 2,591, or almost
40 percent. Right-angle crashes have dropped by almost 30 percent
and rear-end crashes decreased by almost 50 percent.
||Fayetteville has studied traffic data for three
years of data before and then three years after the intersections
where cameras were installed. Total crashes have dropped from
256 to 214. Right-angle crashes dropped from 91 to 47, a drop
of almost 50 percent. Rear-end crashes increased by two.
||Red light violations are down 20 percent since
the cameras were installed. Right-angle crashes dropped from
between 23 to 29 percent.
||Total crashes decreased 15 percent, and right-angle
crashes 23 percent in the first year. Total crashes had decreased
9 percent and right-angle crashes 29 percent in the second year.
||No data available.
||New program. No crash or violation reduction
information was available.
||No data available.
||Monroe has reported a 50 percent drop in red
light running violations.
||The Institute for Transportation Research and
Education with help from North Carolina State University has
compared the number of red-light related accidents between camera
and non-camera intersections. The result: right-angle crashes
were reduced by 42 percent at red-light camera intersections,
rear-end crashes went down 25 percent and the total red-light
related crashes decreased by 22 percent.
||Rocky Mount has seen total crashes decrease 31
percent, with rear end crashes dropping by 23 percent, and right-angle
crashes 17 percent at the intersections with cameras. On the
actual approaches with cameras in place, total crashes decreased
28 percent, rear end crashes 25 percent, and angle crashes 25
||Reports a 26 percent drop in red light running
violations, with right-angle crashes down 23 percent.
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