New study says red light cameras save lives

February 1, 2011 4:52:40 PM PST
After a vote last year, the red light cameras in Houston are not issuing tickets anymore, however, a new study shows the cameras are saving lives. The Institute for Highway Safety found deadly intersection crashes can be dramatically reduced with red light cameras. Overall, the study found drivers stop rather than risk a ticket.

"People are more aware that the law is being enforced and that makes them more likely to stop," said Adrian Lund of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The institute compared deadly accidents in 14 cities with cameras to those without. Houston was not included in the study. They found the cameras cut red light running crashes by 24 percent.

Opponents to red light cameras say, while the cameras may decrease some accidents, they actually increase read end accidents when drivers slam on their brakes to avoid the red light.

"Motorists don't like them. They feel they are unfair and can sometimes cause an accident," said Mike Stollenwerk of the National Motorists Association.

By the way, the company that operates the red light cameras in Houston says since the cameras stopped recording, Houstonians are running 18 percent more red lights. While the cameras are not recording, the sensor is still counting the number of cars that run the red lights.