IIHS Study Shows Increase in Fatal Accidents For Jurisdictions That Turn Off Red Light Cameras

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) press release (2016-07-28) announced the findings of a new report which reaffirmed that red light cameras reduce fatal crashes at intersections and that jurisdictions that removed red light cameras saw a 30% increase in fatal crashes caused by red light running and a 16% increase . The IIHS and its companion organization, the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) are independent, and nonprofit organizations that seek to reduce accidents and crashes (and the associated human and property damage) on the nation’s roadways through the gathering and scientific study of accident and crash data. Both are supported by various auto insurers and insurance associations. From the press release:

Red-light-running crashes caused 709 deaths in 2014 and an estimated 126,000 injuries. Red light runners account for a minority of the people killed in such crashes. Most of those killed are occupants of other vehicles, passengers in the red-light-running vehicles, pedestrians or bicyclists.

Automated enforcement deters red light running. While traditional police enforcement can help, there aren’t enough resources to station officers at every intersection. Cameras increase the odds that violators will get caught, and well-publicized camera programs discourage would-be violators from taking those odds.

In cities that turned on red light cameras

Down arrow21% fewer fatal red light running crashes  per capita

 

 

Down arrow14% fewer  fatal crashes of all types per capita at signalized intersections than would have occurred without cameras

 

 

In cities that turned off red light cameras

Up arrow
30% more  fatal red light running crashes  per capita

 

Up arrow16% more  fatal crashes of all types per capita at signalized intersections

 

The IIHS study updates the data collection and analysis used in a 2011 IIHS study which found that red light cameras decreased both fatal red light running accidents and all types of fatal crashes at intersections with traffic signals.

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