Skip to comments.Accidents fall at Houston red-light camera intersections (AFTER the cameras are turned off)
Posted on 05/12/2011 12:31:33 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
In the five months after Houston voters forced city officials to turn off a camera surveillance system that fined motorists for running red lights, traffic accidents at those 50 intersections with 70 cameras have decreased 16 percent, according to recently released data.
The drop in accidents surprised Houston police administrators who say a possible explanation is the unusually dry weather during recent months has made driving conditions safer. They also wonder if years of electronic monitoring have made Houstonians better, if not more cautious, drivers.
Assistant Chief Brian Lumpkin said he had assumed accidents at those intersections were increasing since HPD is still receiving raw data from the camera vendor indicating motorists were running lights with much greater frequency at many intersections...
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.chron.com ...
They were higher because people are more distracted, nervous drivers knowing that they are being filmed. Anytime you add a pressure element to someone who is driving, you are more likely to increase accident rates.
But, it’s never been about decreasing accidents, anyway.
Police union and other officials are citing the lack of rain for the drop in accidents and claiming that higher gas prices may also be a contributing factor. They also say that the cameras have been turned “off” yet say that they are still accounting how many people are “running” red lights. All tickets USED to go through an officer review process to make sure that the trigger wasn’t noting legal right turns on red and other legal scenarios. Without the camera footage, they cannot claim that runners have INCREASED, then again maybe they lied about the cameras being “off”.
I could just as easily cite the rise in gas prices as a reason more people are running red lights to improve gas mileage. Isn’t this fun playing “take a wild a&&ed guess?”
People only get into accidents because they follow REAL close each other trying to cram into the intersection, so when one person slams on their brakes for the camera the others domino into them. The cameras cannot make people drive stupid. They already do.
Or maybe people aren't slamming on the brakes during yellow lights any longer, but are instead clearing intersections normally - you know, they way they are supposed to on a yellow light.
If people are running a particular red light, it means the yellow isn't long enough. Period.
Red light cameras are about the revenue, nothing else.
Those “surprised Houston police administrators” are idiots. As both you suggest, and as it’s been well documented, while having red-light cameras decrease the number of broad-side accidents somewhat, the number of rear-end accident increases significantly. I wonder how much the “surprised Houston police administrators” get paid......
Maybe you should learn to drive.
LOL! That's a good one!
Once red-light cams are installed, the greedy cities reduce the yellow light length into the nanosecond range, thus AUTOMATICALLY hiking tickets and REVENUE!
Aha ha ha ha ha...stop, my sides are hurting!
Most likely, it's Obama's fault. $4+ gallon gas cuts down on the number of people driving. Fewer drivers, and even fewer miles traveled will make for significant reductions in accidents.
The WAG from the unnamed "police administrators" about weather could also explain some things. I used to be a parts manager at an auto dealership. Whenever we had severe thunderstorms (or wintry weather in Atlanta area), I used to joke with the new and used car sales guys, "This is great wholesale parts weather!!" Many of my biggest wholesale customers were body shops.
Weather would cause reduced accident rates at all intersections, not just the ones with cameras.
“Maybe you should learn to drive.”
What ever gave you that idea?
Well, fuel usage IS down 2%, but the accidents dropped 16%. And to be frank, this only confirms what has already been proven: the camreas increase rear end accidents.
And the other dirty little secret is that most tickets issued because of these cameras are for people making a free right in a red but failing to come to a “complete stop with rollback”.
These cameras are a farce and always have been.
I was in Vienna a few summers ago and noticed that they have a countdown timer next to the yellow lights to let drivers know how much time they have before it turns red. No surprises. Perhaps we should do that here. Shorten the green light cycle by a few seconds, extend the yellow by a few seconds and count down from 6 or thereabouts. Maybe 1.5 seconds of yellow light for every 10 mph of the posted speed limit.
The ‘red light’ cameras here in Tucson are a major hazard as drivers speed up to make the light and then slow down unexpectedly to avoid the camera and cause rear end accidents. They should be removed as they are only a blessing to the companies that install them and reap the cash benefits.
>>The cameras cannot make people drive stupid.<<
Actually, that is false. The cameras most definitely do that for many people - they know it’s a camera intersection, the light turns yellow, they slam on their brakes even though they actually had plenty of time to go through. It actually happens a lot.
And the more people slam on their brakes, the more rear-enders there will be.
I’ve seen people absolutely stomp on their brakes at a yellow light that had one of those red light cameras and warning signs. Actually, I’ve seen it many times.
Why? Because they don’t want to risk a “fast yellow” and have to pay a hefty fine.
THAT’s how “red light cameras” cause accidents.
But it’s just too complicated for your average politician or LSM media scum to figure out, apparently...
If there are fewer drivers, then how is it light runners are significantly “up”? Are they that far up?
Are gas stations noting a sharp decline in gas purchases? Wouldn’t that cause prices to drop?
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