Study: Red-Light Cameras Cut Fatalities


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When it comes to reducing fatalities, a new study concludes, red-light cameras are getting the green light.

The study issued Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that fatal crashes declined 24 percent in 14 large U.S. cities where red-light cameras were installed between 1996 and 2004.

The Insurance Institute, a nonprofit funded by auto insurers, estimated that the cameras have saved 159 lives between 2004 and 2008 in 14 of the biggest U.S. cities. The study looked at 99 U.S. cities with populations over 200,000, and compared the rate of fatal crashes between two periods – 1992 to 1996 and 2004 to 2008.

Gary Biller, executive director of the National Motorists Association in Waunakee, Wis., which opposes red-light cameras on due-process grounds, was critical of the study’s methodology. A reduction in traffic fatalities during the periods studied “have been seen across the board,” and can’t be solely attributed to red-light cameras, Biller said.

“There were quite a lot of safety enhancements to motor vehicles” that should be given some credit, Biller said.

Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute, defended the study, saying it took into account falling crash fatality rates overall by looking at cities without red-light cameras.

“Crash rates fell in all cities we looked at,” Rader said. “But crash rates fell much faster in camera cities.”

(Source: Newsday)


  1. what kind of piffel is this
    i live In the uk where it has been proven that “safety” camera’s have caused over 800 crashes since 1996
    and bring in on average £22million of revenue a year
    all the talk of reduced deaths is rubbish it all has boiled down to the massive changes in car safety: airbags, seatbelts, and monocouqe chassis and spaceframes
    why do people bother to do a survey like this one do they seriously want cameras?

  2. How many rear-end collisions are CAUSED by these cameras, because people see the light starting to change, KNOW the camera will catch them if they go through, and SO they JAM ON THE BRAKES so as to NOT go through, and the car behind them slams into them?!?!?

    In these split-second decision moments, common sense dictates that you SHOULD go through the intersection, but because people are afraid of a ticket, they CAUSE an accident!

  3. Another phoney study, designed to generate more business for the camera mmanufacturers.

    Study after study has demonstrated that city governments play around with the timing of the lights to insure that people will not have enough time to stop and avoid a ticket.

    In some places in California, the ticket is $500.00–pure theivery!

    The drivers only defense is to go into panic mode, and slam on the brakes, and you can well imagine what happens then.

  4. AinOhdMilvado and deepthinker,

    If you are going so fast or traveling so close that you hit the person in front of you when he slams on his brakes, you are going too fast and traveling too close!

    And the law sees it that way. Stop excusing the person who is at fault!

  5. deepthinker,

    Phoney study? This isn’t by the government, this is by the people who pay the insurance claims! I thought that you right wingers believed that the private sector can do no wrong!!!

  6. charliehall…

    You are correct, the guy behind IS, technically, at fault, BUT that is not much comfort when he plows into you.
    The fact is that people do get too close behind you, and if you have to make a sudden stop (to avoid a “red-light camera” ticket) it can very well cause an accident.