All that money spent on red light cameras to stop people running lights apparently didn't improve safety

Some simple economics here.  From the Wall Street Journal:
The Chicago Tribune delivered the “first-ever scientific study” of the nation’s biggest camera program. Researchers commissioned by the paper found little or no safety benefit: Mid-intersection “T-bones” declined, but rear-end collisions sharply increased as drivers slammed on the brakes to avoid a ticket. Most damning, the Trib cited the city’s “long-standing reliance on using the lowest possible yellow light time” to maximize revenues even at the cost of encouraging more accidents. . . .
Apparently, the message is getting out as the company that have made these cameras are slowly exiting the business.
With Redflex losing money in North America, its Australian parent company recently instructed him to “de-risk the business” by diversifying into electronic toll-taking and traffic management. Nonetheless Mr. Saunders remains keen to rescue the reputation of photo enforcement, even if that seems like a Hail Mary at this point. . . .



Blogger Jerry said...

The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices specifies a minimum yellow light interval of 30 seconds as I recall. Revenues are virtually zero at this interval but accidents increase as the interval is decreased. Shouldn't the city be held liable for creating a hazardous situation? Can a city be sued under RICO for decreasing the yellow light interval to increase revenue?

12/27/2014 4:35 PM  

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