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Saturday
Dec202014

Red Light Cameras do not increase safety! The End.

For the last five years, this blog has described how red light cameras’ in Chicago are not increasing safety.  I completed two studies (1,2) and many posts debunking the city’s claims that red light cameras were increasing safety (1,2).  I have now been validated by another study, this one commissioned by the Tribune.
The study found:
there is no safety benefit from cameras installed at intersections where there have been few crashes with injuries. Such accidents actually increased at those intersections after cameras went in, the study found, though the small number of crashes makes it difficult to determine whether the cameras were to blame.
The finding raises questions about why the city installed cameras in so many places where injury-causing crashes were rare — nearly 40 percent of the 190 intersections that had cameras through 2012, the Tribune found.
"The biggest takeaway is that overall (the program) seems to have had little effect," said Dominique Lord, an associate professor at Texas A&M University's Zachry Department of Civil Engineering who led the Tribune's study.
The story also quotes several other traffic experts that point out many of the issues that were first pointed out here, including the change in definition of an accident in 2009 and the lack of a control in the city’s studies.  
You can read the article for all the details.  But at this point, my journey to document the failings with the city’s red light program are over. There is now consensus among experts that red light cameras in Chicago have not improved safety.  A shout out to the many people that reminded me that this issue was important includes Mike at The Expired Meter and Barnet Fagel.

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