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Recent study shows eliminating red light cameras reduces safety

From: domainremoved <Adina>
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2019 19:40:35 -0700

Honorable Council Members

This note regards the agenda item tomorrow regarding red light cameras.

A recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that red
light runners are causing more fatal collisions following the ending of red
light camera programs in a variety of cities.

Menlo Park has adopted a Vision Zero policy. According to the information
in the study, red light cameras help the city to fulfill the Vision Zero
goal to eliminate serious injuries and deaths on our roadways.

https://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/new-guidelines-for-automated-enforcement-programs-emphasize-safety-amid-rise-in-red-light-running-crash-deaths

As cited in the article linked below, "the IIHS reports that 811 people
were killed in crashes caused by red light runners nationwide in 2016, an
increase of 17 percent compared to the previous four-year average. The rise
in red light-running fatalities coincides with a decline in the number of
cities using camera enforcement to deter red-light running. Between 2012
and 2016, the number of red light cameras in operation fell 21 percent...

A 2016 IIHS study found that the fatal red-light running crash rate in
cities that shut off their cameras increased 30 percent relative to similar
cities that had not. In cities that had eliminated camera enforcement, the
overall fatal crash rate at signalized intersections was 16 percent higher
than in cities where the programs were maintained."

There is some mixed information suggesting that red light cameras may
increase overall collisions. However, red light cameras result in a
reduction in right angle, "t-bone" collisions that result in more deaths
and severe injuries. The types of collisions that may increase are
rear-end collisions that result in fewer deaths and serious injuries.

Red light camera programs can garner pushback from residents who are
concerned that the goal of the program may be to raise revenue, rather than
to increase safety. In order to be effective and sustainable, here are
some helpful recommendations - there are more recommendations in this
linked article:
https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/07/25/as-cities-turn-off-red-light-cameras-red-light-runners-claim-more-lives/

* Put the cameras at the most dangerous intersections
* Use standard signal timing
* Allocate any revenue over costs to fund street safety programs
* Collect and publish data about how the program is functioning.
* Pay based on costs, not number of citations
* Sliding-scale fines and alternatives to payment for low-income drivers

In sum, red light cameras, especially when implemented with the good
practices above, help the city to support our Vision Zero policy with a
goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways.

Police officer enforcement is helpful, but police officers cannot monitor
dangerous intersections all of the time. Cameras can, deterring red light
running.

Please keep the red light cameras in place to improve the safety of our
dangerous intersections and help advance our Vision Zero goals.

Thank you,

Adina Levin
Menlo Park Resident
650-646-4344
Received on Mon Apr 08 2019 - 19:36:45 PDT

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