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Study: red light cameras make safer drivers

Rochester, N.Y. – For the first time, concrete numbers saying accidents are down at intersections in the city of Rochester that have red light cameras.

“We were surprised actually at the increase in safety at those intersections it was a pleasant surprise,” said Rochester City Engineer James McIntosh, P.E. “We knew there was going to be some but this was a lot more than we anticipated.”

There are currently 42 cameras at 38 intersections with as many as 90,000 tickets issued at these intersections each year.

A study completed by the traffic firm SRF Associates found that accidents at intersections with these cameras have:

- Decreased by 38%

- Right angle collisions are down 29%

- Rear-end collisions are down by 38%

- Collisions caused by disregarding the red light is down 72%

- Accidents with injury are down 81%

“I voted against red light cameras almost every time, partly because I didn’t feel I had the data that I needed, this makes me feel more confident,” said Rochester City Councilmember Elaine Spaull.

With the decrease in accidents with injury the study estimates $3.6-million has been saved in medical expenses.

“We saw that almost all the intersections there was a positive change and some of them it was flat,” said McIntosh. “I think that we have to look at those intersections that were flat; did the red light violations stay the same, maybe we need to keep the camera there or is there something else that we need to do at those intersections to try to get the accident numbers down because the red light cameras don’t seem to be doing it.”

In June, the state okayed Rochester to continue the red light camera program. The final decision is now up to city council. They could make their decision as early as October, when the final report is complete.

 
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