- The Washington Times - Monday, January 19, 2009


Virginia. The result is a hodgepodge of contradictory findings.

The Times ignores studies that show the success of cameras in reducing both violations and crashes. More than 300 U.S. communities have installed cameras to enhance safety. It’s true that rear-end crashes at some intersections increase after cameras are installed. But would The Times like to see motorists resist braking for red lights? The increase in rear-end crashes that accompanies the introduction of cameras at some intersections is more than offset by decreases in the more serious front-into-side impacts that contribute to hundreds of deaths in red-light-running crashes.

The Times is right to object to secret policy deliberations about camera programs. It also is correct that safety, not revenue, should be the aim of every camera program. This is why camera enforcement is highly publicized in the communities where it’s used. Motorists know they will be ticketed, and they stop to obey the red lights, thus fulfilling the goal of safety. This isn’t a case of playing “gotcha.” Please editorialize in favor of transparent red-light-camera programs that aim to reduce violations.



Insurance Institute

for Highway Safety


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