I previously wrote about the effectiveness of red light cameras in Chicago. Car accident statistics for some Chicago intersections that had red light cameras actually showed an increase in car crashes.
My hometown of Kansas City, Missouri is actually showing a decrease car crashes around their city in intersections that contain red light cameras. The Kansas City Star reported recently that car wrecks overall declined 26 percent. Injury wrecks fell by 42 percent. And wrecks caused by drivers running red lights plunged 67 percent. Those declines contrast with a slight increase in wrecks citywide during that same time period.
“As a driver myself, I know I’m paying more attention,” said KC Police Chief Jim Corwin. “I think a lot of people are paying more attention, so those figures don’t surprise me.”
“I’m glad to hear it’s making a difference,” said Councilwoman Cathy Jolly, a proponent of the camera system. “This is why we did it.”
Nationwide, studies of crashes at camera-monitored intersections have reported mixed results.
Large studies from Virginia and North Carolina reported crash numbers grew after cameras were installed. Other studies, including ones in Dallas and California, cited a reduction in crashes.
Beth Ebel, director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center in Seattle, said many studies generally have found a decrease in right-angle or T-bone crashes but an increase in rear-end crashes.
To read the complete article, click here. It will be interesting to see how the intersections with red light cameras in Chicago fare in the next few years. As mentioned above, experts who have studied this issue believe it could take up to three (3) years to determine their effectiveness.