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Friday, May 28, 2010

Rear-end collisions jump at red-light camera intersections.

Turns out that those cameras installed at intersections work; they do cut down on people running red lights. But the white-knuckled fear of getting a ticket leads to abrupt stops and thus an increase in rear-end collisions at these no-safer but revenue producing intersections.

Although this is a report from only one municipality, I suspect that it is very common.  From the Palm Beach Post (
Rear-end collisions more than doubled and accidents increased overall in the first 70 days of red-light cameras in West Palm Beach compared to the same period of 2009, traffic records reviewed by The Palm Beach Post show.
In the name of boosting safety, not revenues, West Palm Beach issued 2,675 camera fines worth a third of a million dollars in March alone.
But at the three city intersections from Feb. 21, when fines began, through May 1, The Post found:
--Rear-end collisions increased to five from two. Rear-end accidents sometimes go up with cameras because anxious drivers are more likely to stop abruptly.
--Overall accidents increased to seven from six.
--The only injury in either period came under cameras, in a rear-end crash in March 2010. The injury was "non-incapacitating," according to records supplied by cities and compiled in Palm Beach County's accident database.
City officials did not dispute the data but said it was too soon to draw meaningful conclusions
If tea-baggers want to complain about government let them complain about this.  I am not necessarily opposed to the government using cameras, but I do oppose it when the motive is to make money and not for safety.

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