Cameras cause accidents and they do not save lives. They do not work.
- Virginia DOT Study Shows Cams Increase Injury Accidents
The Virginia Transportation Research Council studied all of the state red light camera programs and found an overall increase in injury accidents.
A brand new, exhaustive study of all seven Virginia red light camera programs shows an overall increase in injury accidents has occurred where the devices are installed. The study was performed by The Virginia Transportation Research Council at the request of the state transportation secretary. The report also notes a fatal flaw in Virginia’s camera law — motorists can ignore any ticket received in the mail. Only tickets that are personally served matter (the same thing happened in Arizona).Despite a distinct sympathy in favor of camera enforcement, the researchers found a “definite” increase in rear-end accidents and only a “possible” decrease in angle accidents. Most importantly, the net effect was that more injuries happened after cameras are installed. Camera proponents explain this away by asserting angle accidents are more serious, but this claim has not been scientifically studied according to this report. The rear end collisions caused by the cameras still produce injuries — the original promise of camera proponents was that they would reduce accidents and injuries, not rearrange them.This study agrees with long-term findings in Australia and North Carolina.
- Do red light cameras reduce accidents or generate revenue?
Recently, Mayor Bill White convinced City Council to approve red light traffic cameras, ostensibly to improve safety. However, some of us think it’s more likely a new way to generate revenue, kind of like $AFEclear.
- Study: Cameras Increase Fatal Rear End Accidents (Ontario)
A December 2003 study sponsored by the Ontario, Canada government finds increase in accidents and fatal rear-end collisions from red light camera use.
- Safety Benefit of Red-Light Cameras in Doubt
I-Newswire.com (press release) – Jun 19, 2005
… The Liverpool report termed this as “regression to the mean.” The findings of all these reports are not a surprise to the makers of PhantomPlate.com …
Cameras make mistakes and innocent people are getting unjust traffic tickets.
- Australia: Camera Fines Man Driving 88 in a 90km/h Zone
Some 119 Australian motorists have been ticketed for driving under the speed limit.
Officials admit that 119 motorists have received speeding tickets on the Hume Highway in Victoria, Australia after speed camera contractor Tenix input the wrong speed limit into a speed camera. On July 21, the device was set up to ticket anyone driving 80 km/h on a stretch of the road that actually had a 90km/h speed limit.
Neither the police nor Tenix ever discovered the error. When Frank Torzillo, 49, received his fine in the mail for driving 88km/h, he knew he wasn’t guilty. He enlisted the help of former speed camera operator Graeme Marr to help him prove his own innocence. Together they discovered the speed limit discrepancy after visiting the scene of the “crime.” As a result of their efforts, the government will be forced to refund nearly A$20,000 to innocent drivers. Tenix has suspended the camera operator responsible for the errors.
“I have always stated — from the day of my resignation on August 20, 2004 — about incorrect set-ups, operators forced to use faulty cameras, and other incorrect happenings that would cause motorists to be incorrectly issued with infringement notices,” Marr told the Herald Sun. “Mr. Torzillo’s saga adds to my claims that supervision is sparse, and [that] operators who have no feelings for motorists will set up the speed cameras to raise revenue.”
Victoria Premier Steve Bracks has rejected new calls for an audit of the speed camera system which last year refunded A$26 million to motorists who lost their license from inaccurate speed camera citations.
“Victoria is Australia’s most secretive state when it comes to speed cameras,” Shadow Transport Spokesman Terry Mulder said. “However, Steve Bracks’ desire to be Australia’s most money-hungry leader is no secret.”
Source: Speed camera bungle (Herald Sun (Australia), 8/25/2005)
- UK Officials Admit Speed Cameras Make Mistakes
Suffolk, UK officials admits to a well-known camera error.
The officials responsible for operating speed cameras in Suffolk, UK have investigated the case of a bus driver who received a 81 MPH camera ticket who happened to have an electronic log recording that proved he was actually driving 29 MPH at the time. Terry Marsh with Suffolk SafeCam told the London Times that, “It is known that it is possible for a camera to record a speed inaccurately under sets of very rare circumstances. I think all camera operators have been aware of this since cameras were introduced.”
Marsh described the effect of radar bouncing off large sedans and vans in the same way that radar bounces off of the stealth bomber. The reflected beam can record the speed of a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. Marsh denied that this potential for error has any effect on the current system because all tickets are double-checked by a human. He could not explain why no such check prevented the ticket from being issued in the 81 MPH bus case.
Terry Marsh of Suffolk SafeCam admitted that it was generally known in the industry that speed cameras could make mistakes, but insisted that there was no need for the cameras to be changed as a human operator usually picked up any anomalies.
Source: Speed cameras are fallible, operators admit (London Times (UK), 4/12/2005)
- Watch Australian news agencies reporting on traffic camera errors and malfunctions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
The simplest and most effective measure to reduce red-light running problems is to length the yellow time cycle.
- Study: Longer Yellows Reduce Crashes
(Texas Transportation Institute)
The Texas Transportation Institute shows that engineering improvements are an effective alternative to cameras.The Texas Transportation Institute examined concerns that red light cameras were being used by cities that had not first exhausted available engineering alternatives such as improving signal timing and visibility. They studied individual police accident reports from 181 intersection approaches across three Texas cities over three years to determine the most effective solutions for problem intersections.The study found that improving signal visibility reduced violations 25 percent. Other changes could net between 18 and 48 percent reductions. Yet they found when the yellow signal was 1 second shorter than what the standard ITE timing formula specifies as a minimum, red light violations jumped 110%. Adding an additional second to the ITE minimum yellow yielded 53% reduction in violations, producing the greatest benefit of all the factors studied (2-6). When safety is the main concern, preventing crashes is more important than reducing violations. Yellow signal timing again proved most effective in reducing crashes. An extra second yielded a 40 percent collision reduction.The study also found that the vast majority of red light camera tickets are issued within the first second a light is red — in fact, the average ticket is issued when the light has been red for half a second or less. Yet right-angle crashes, which account for the majority of red-light related collisions, “with one exception, all of the right-angle crashes occurred after 5 seconds or more of red” (5-16). In other words, tickets are being issued primarily for split-second violations where collisions are not occurring
- Red Light Citations Drop Below One Per Day Increasing Yellow Light Time at Fairfax Red Light Camera Intersection Results in 94 percent Drop in “Red Light Violations.”
Eric Skrum, Communications Director for the National Motorists Association said, “Records from Fairfax County show that increasing the time of yellow lights significantly decreases the number of red light violations. The Virginia Department of Transportation increased the yellow time on the traffic lights at US50 and Fair Ridge Drive by 1.50 seconds on March 26, 2001. This increase in yellow time from 4.00 seconds to 5.50 seconds resulted in a 94 percent drop in citations, less than one per day, at this red light camera enforced location.”Skrum continued, “Fairfax County records show that ‘events,’ red light violations, captured by the camera fell from an average daily rate of 52.1 per day before the yellow time increase to just 2 per day afterward, a reduction of 94 percent.”Fairfax County records also show that citations being issued dropped to just 0.82 citations a day on average during the 67 days after the yellow time was increased.”This camera was activated February 8, 2001 by Lockheed Martin under an agreement with Fairfax County. The Virginia Department of Transportation is responsible for operating these signals. The decision to install a red light camera at this intersection confirms that this intersection was considered a location of serious violations with increased potential for accidents.”This experience should prove to any skeptic that sound engineering practices, not only work but are preferable to exploiting motorists through the use of ticket cameras and related automated enforcement devices,” Skrum concluded.Fairfax County red light camera enforcement records were received from Fairfax County on July 9, 2001 by the National Motorists Association. Those records reflected camera enforcement data through the end of May, 2001 and were the most current and complete records available on the day of receipt (as stated by Fairfax County officials). It should also be noted that the average daily traffic in this intersection is approximately 74,000 vehicles per day.
- Click here to read official report on red-light cameras and accidents.
- Study: Longer Yellows Reduce Crashes
Watch a WBAL 11 (Baltimore, MD) report on the city shortening yellow-light times to trap motorists.
Watch a real traffic camera footage ticketing the wrong motorist for a $350 ticket.
Cameras primary goal is to raise revenue and safety is a smoke screen.
- Red-Light,Speed Cameras, and Tickets: Billion Dollar Business
David Bresnahan, NewsWithViews.com -Mar 03, 2006
If we all use this spray on our licenseplates maybe then the politicians will get the message and do what is right– junk the cameras and lengthen the time of the yellow lights.
- Opposition seeks Police Minister’s resignation for speed cameras
The Victorian Opposition is calling for the resignation of Police Minister Andre Haermeyer over Victoria’s faulty speed cameras.
- Bracks caps speed camera compo
THE Bracks Government, in an about-face, will cap compensation to motorists who lost licenses after being caught by faulty speed cameras.