Getting a red light traffic camera ticket is no fun, and if you’ve ever received one, you might not remember doing anything to warrant getting the ticket. There certainly can be a sense of unfairness. But one big question is, just how effect are red light traffic cameras? After all, if they did result in safer roads for everyone, then the sting of getting one might not be as much (although your bank account would certainly disagree as you write that check for the fine).
Safer roads, however, may not be one of the significant benefits of red light traffic cameras. According to a recent study commissioned by the Chicago Tribune examining the effectiveness of red light traffic cameras, red light traffic cameras in Chicago were actually responsible for a non-significant increase of five percent in the total number of crashes involving injuries.
Non-significant research results – that is, results that were not statistically significant – in scientific studies don’t mean very much. But the study also found some interesting results that were statistically significant. In terms of angle and turning crashes at the intersections with red light traffic cameras installed that were studied, there was a statistically significant decrease of 15 percent. However, this reduction was countered by a statistically significant increase in the number of rear-end crashes that occurred.
The study examined data from 90 of the 190 Chicago intersections where red light traffic cameras had been installed. In terms of actual numbers, approximately 76 right-angle or turning crashes were prevented by the cameras while 54 more rear-end accidents occurred. There were 1,064 accidents reported in the three years after the cameras were installed, in comparison to the 1,016 number of expected crashes had the cameras not been installed, or a five percent increase. This increase was not significant as it fell within the study’s margin of error.
There was also a possibility of spillover effects at intersections without cameras installed, which saw similar crash patterns. The study results were very similar to those of a 2005 Federal Highway Administration analysis of the effect of red light traffic cameras.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Los Angeles traffic accident, Bradley I. Kramer and his experienced legal team are here to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.