Red Light Cameras Are Reducing Accident Injury Numbers at Intersections

Researchers from Australia indicate that intersection traffic cameras, which detect speeding and red light violations, have reduced the risk of accident injuries by more than 20 percent, suggesting that additional monitoring systems should be considered in the United States. 

In a new red light camera study published online this week by the Centre for Automotive Safety Research in Australia, violation detection systems were found to deter motorists from speeding or from running red lights, and have also helped prevent auto accidents at intersections.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide of Adelaide, South Australia performed a study that evaluated crash data for five years prior to red light cameras being placed in intersections and five years following, and found that intersections with monitoring systems had a twenty one percent decline in automobile crashes.

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Red light camera systems are designed to monitor traffic and take pictures of vehicles that are speeding or making illegal traffic maneuvers at intersections. The study suggests the camera systems may also play a major role in accident prevention.

Thirty-five intersections in southern Australia were evaluated in the study. Researchers indicated that prior to safety cameras being installed at the intersections, approximately 820 automobile crashes were recorded. The crash data for the same 35 intersections was collected for the five year period following camera implementation and researchers found a 21% decrease in vehicle crashes.

The study suggested that not only did vehicle crashes decline, but that serious injury crashes also were reduced, which is believed to be from red light cameras deterring high speed travel through intersections.

Southern Australia’s State Government released a statement following the publishing of the study announcing that it will install another 10 camera systems at intersections through the state in an effort to make vehicle travel safer.

Prior research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has indicated the life-saving benefits of red light cameras in the United States. On average, two people are killed per day from a red-light running crash, in which more than half involve pedestrians and bicyclists being hit by driver speeding while running red lights.

In the IIHS study, researchers found that cities not using red light camera systems had up to a 30 percent increase in fatal red-light running crashes, and a 16 percent increase of fatalities of all types of signalized intersections.


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