Yes, more read-end collision than T-bone accident
The article says:
“Red-light cameras, designed to catch drivers who run lights and endanger others, are now the subject of significant debate because some believe they may cause more harm than good. “
So the debate is here framed as to whether “[red-light cameras] may cause more harm than good”
The article then proceeds to cite “evidence to support both sides of the debate.”
“A study this year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that in 14 of America's largest cities the cameras have saved 159 lives during a four-year period.
The study also said that if all 99 of the country's largest cities had them installed, 815 lives could have been saved. “
“On the other side of the debate are statistics that show the cameras also cause accidents. A 2005 federal study demonstrated that while injuries from right angle or T-bone crashes decreased by 16 percent at red-light camera intersections, injuries from rear-end collisions increased by 24 percent. “
If the debate was really about whether cameras caused “more harm than good”, then that April 2005 study by the Federal Highway Administration was misunderstood. The statistics quoted do come from the FHA study. However, the conclusion of the study never seems to be quoted in any articles using it as a “source” because it makes a statement that concludes that cameras overall do more good than harm.
The study concluded:
“This is a final report on a study to evaluate the effectiveness of red-light-camera (RLC) systems in reducing crashes. The intended audience is professionals who make decisions about safety programs for intersections. The study involved empirical Bayes before-and-after research using data from seven jurisdictions across the United States to estimate the crash and associated economic effects of RLC systems. The study included 132 treatment sites and specially derived rear end and right-angle unit crash costs for various severity levels. Crash effects detected were consistent in direction with those found in many previous studies: decreased right-angle crashes and increased rear end crashes. The economic analysis examined the extent to which the increase in rear end crashes negates the benefits for decreased right-angle crashes. There was indeed a modest aggregate crash cost benefit of RLC systems even when accounting for the negative impact of rear end collisions. The benefit of RLC systems could increase further, if measures were taken to educate or alert drivers that vehicles preceding them could be stopping suddenly for a red light and thus reduce the likelihood of a rear end crash. A disaggregate analysis found that the greatest economic benefits are associated with the highest total entering average annual daily traffic, the largest ratios of right-angle to rear end crashes, and with the presence of protected left-turn phases. There were weak indications of a spillover effect that point to a possible need for a more definitive, perhaps prospective, study of this issue”
But note these particular words:
“There was indeed a modest aggregate crash cost benefit of RLC systems even when accounting for the negative impact of rear end collisions.”
The study continued:
“The benefit of RLC systems could increase further, if measures were taken to educate or alert drivers that vehicles preceding them could be stopping suddenly for a red light and thus reduce the likelihood of a rear end crash.”
I have always been interested in the argument that red light camera cause rear-end collisions. This seems to be the reverse of the anti-gun-control argument that “guns don’t kill people, people do”. I have never heard people who complain about rear-end collisions advocating more signage to alerts drivers that a red light camera is ahead so they should drive accordingly. If a municipality could cut down on rear-end collisions, safety would increase and property damage would decrease.
Another thread has been discussing a proposed camera system designed to ticket drivers following too close. Most of the discussion has been opposed to the cameras. BUT, this would be one clear way to reduce rear-enders.
If you would like to read the 2005 study, see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/05048/0...
And in full disclosure, which RLC company do you work for?
I can't disagree with the data, it does make sense, people that are speeding and tail-gating are going to rear end more cars that stop for lights at intersections with RLC.
On the plus side, cars traveling at or near the same speed, in the same direction, when then collide , USUALLY do not cause fatalities; it is usually a large delta in speed that kills, ie head-on or angle collisions.
The good thing, is that those doing the rear-ending will get charged with careless driving or follow too close, and get fined; and receive large insurance increases. So hopefully, Darwinean principles, will cull these idiots off the road eventually.
The use of police for traffic enforcement is becoming wasteful and a poor use of expensive resources.
Albeit, traffic collisions account for more deaths and injuries, and losses, than all crimes combined; the absolute liability in traffic offenses doesn't require any investigative knowledge, or skill. (thus why cameras have become better witnesses for these offences).
I can see, and hope, where technology will result in all enforcement of traffic laws, via cameras and AI. Thus being able to deploy those valued and expensive resources in policing towards crime, and criminal traffic offences.
Because I pay so much attention to facts and statistics, I am often accused of working for some RLC company. You are not the first to do so, and, I suspect, will not be the last.
It seems that people who are opponents of Automated Traffic Enforcement will accept any article that seems to support their opposition. However, based on the answers they give to technical questions posed on this site, it appears that most are intelligent. I can only assume that they did not do any analysis of their own but accepted a misrepresentation.
Thus, I try to actually read all of the articles and ALSO the studies they cite in order to draw my own conclusions from the data. As I have pointed out, thenewspaper.com almost always misrepresents facts and makes selective quotes in order to pander to the opponents of Automated Traffic Enforcement.
All I would ask of you is that read the studies if for no other reason than to debate with me. I try to state the facts as accurately as I can but you might have a different take.
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