Red-light cameras saving lives

I saw this press release this morning and thought, the Bremerton red-light camera haters are gonna love this.

Turns out, it’s National Stop on Red Week. I wouldn’t think you’d need such a week, but I guess I give people too much credit. It should be a no-brainer except there are people out there with no brains trying to drive.

So the not-for-profit Traffic Safety Coalition is joining with the Federal Highway Administration this week to educate people to stop on red. Washington is one of four states where the TSC is launching campaigns on “the important role traffic safety cameras play in reducing red light running, avoidable crashes, injuries and death.”

Traffic safety cameras have proven to reduce violations, collisions, injuries and fatalities by changing driver behavior, it says.

A 2011 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examined intersection fatal crash rates from red light running in the 14 largest U.S. cities using intersection cameras. The study compared before and after rates, concluding 159 lives were saved because of safety cameras.


22 thoughts on “Red-light cameras saving lives

  1. Studies such as these are so bogus. There is no evidence that red light cameras lowered the fatality rate. The only thing that this study relies on is before and after. How about listing how many cars went thru these intersections before and after. Also, list how many rearend accidents there were before and after the camera installations. Nope, one statistic is picked out and therefore everything else is a non-issue.

  2. A camera can not reduce red light running. On the other hand, proper engineering has been proven to reduce red light running, such as properly adjusting the yellow light time. (something the city of Bremerton has not done at Wheaton and sylvan)
    The pro camera groups you refer to are sponsored by the “for profit” camera companies.

    Ed, who feeds you and the other Kitsap sun bloggers your misleading, pro camera information? Are you getting these “leads” from Redflex employees? The Bremerton Police? The city engineer?
    How come there has never been an anti-red light camera published in the Kitsap sun?

    1. That just happened to pop into my email today, from that traffic safety outfit. I wrote it up because I know how this topic gets everybody fired up.

  3. If the light turns yellow when turning on green, it becomes a race to get out of the intersection. I’ve almost been hit several times by cars in back of me speeding up. It would be useful if the Kitsap Sun would print an article on exactly when a violation occurs. My understanding is that there is no violation if the light turns red when you are in the intersection. Perhaps the Sun could contact Lt Pete Fisher of the Bremerton PD and Judge James Doctor of the Bremerton Municipal Court for exactly how they interpret the laws.

  4. Yes, it fires me up because I believe it is a major scam. Including the fact the court considers running a red light a “parking infraction” and it does not affect ones driving record. Or what about the fact that Redflex issues the ticket to the registered owner of the vehicle not the actual driver?
    I think the important question to ask judge Docter and Lt. Fisher is, at what point of the red light time do the majority of straight thru violations occur? I think you will find the answer to be, in the first 1/4 of a second. The evidence is there that is case, so why not adjust the yellow light time to eliminate the majority of straight thru violations? I think the answer to that is because this is not at all about safety but a big fat cash cow for the camera company and the court and the city of Bremerton.
    The red light camera program is nothing but for profit law enforcement by a private company.

  5. Shame on the Sun for such sloppy work. It took me less than 1 minute to google Traffic Safety Coaltion and discover it is managed by Resolute Consulting of Chicago. I went to their home page and the first thing I see is a quote from a Redflix Traffic Systems guy singing their praises. An obvious scam, from a company that is notorious for doing this exact same thing in the past.

  6. Or all the redlight haters could follow the traffic rules and stop at the red light and slow down at the yellow light. If the person behind you re-ends you for following the rules of the road then it is their fault. Also there is nothing saying you have to turn right when the light is red after stoping. You have every right to wait for it to turn green, no matter how crazy the guy behind you is going. If people are in such a hurry to get somewhere, leave earlier so you do not feel pressured to try and run the light. Red light cameras do not cause you to get a ticket, irresponsiable driving is what gets you a ticket or in an accident.

  7. I like Brian’s idea of not turning until the light turns green. My wife and I have discussed doing this. Well so be it. From now on, I’ll be stopping until the light turns green and waiting for pedestrians to clear the intersection. Perhaps, if enough of us do this the red light creeps will go out of business here and pull out. If you get stuck behind me too bad, so sad! (you can now summon a mental image of my middle finger) You’ll know it’s me because my truck is way bigger than yours.

  8. 159 lives saved over a four year period. Nice stat but what was the percentage of deaths per cars travelled. Thats what we need to prove it. Like the percentage of taxes the rich are paying instead of how much more they pay. Let say before over 1,000 car travelled through an intersection a day with 2 deaths a year. 365,000/2. After 750 cars a day with one death. 273,750/1. Which is better. 1 death per 182,000 cars travelled or 1 per 273,000 per cars travelled. Red-light cameras are revenue makers.

  9. A few days ago there was story about a Judge who beat red-light camera ticket ona technicality. Only problem, the story didnt say what the technicality was.

  10. I could care less what the studies show. I’ve driven through several intersections that sport red light cameras in Bremerton on a daily basis for nearly 35 years. Those intersections are safer with the cameras. I see fewer people running the lights. I’m sold, quit yer bitching, I help pay for those roads and you don’t have a right to run the light and put the rest of us in danger. If you don’t like it, walk! The rest of us will yield at the light so you’ll be safe in the crosswalk now.

    Bottom line, your personal rights don’t trump mine.

  11. Robin aren’t you on the Bremerton parking committee? So why is it running a red light considered a parking infraction and does not affect your driving record? So why is it a written policy that an off duty law enforcement agent will not receive a “red light parking Infraction” if he blasts thru a red light? So how is it an off duty Bremerton police can sign these “parking infractions”, under the penalty of perjury, in the state of Arizona? Robin, if you are still involved with the parking committee maybe you should look into these matters and then maybe you will understand why people are upset about these scameras. If you are really concerned about RedLight runners would you not want an actual cop patrolling the intersection, instead of an automated company in Arizona?

  12. Jim, here is the link to the judge who beat his automated infraction ticket.
    From what I gather, he argued it was unconstitutional for the owner of the vehicle to have to prove they were not the driver. It got tossed because they can’t enforce the same law differently, like in Bremerton where they treat running a Redflex light as a parking infraction but if you are pulled over by a police then it is considered a moving violation and goes on your driving record and your license would be taken away if you kept running the light.

  13. @Robin in Manette: I see you’re living in your socialist utopian fantasy world again. 35 years of traffic light cameras? Really? NEWS FLASH: they have only been in place for 5ish years or so. So you have been imagining them for the better part of 30 years. FYI; Elsie’s in Silverdale closed up a few years back too.

    Also the government doesn’t have rights, the people do. Most people seem upset at the cameras not because we don’t like the tickets but because local government blatantly lies about their true purpose. I drive a huge truck and would rather play bumper cars than be lied to and spied on. Government in this community, state and country needs a hard reset.

  14. By the way, I have seen cops at the Silverdale Way / Bucklin Hill intersection several times (they live right there) and I have never seen them go after a red light runner. I’m not saying it has never happened, but I’ve never seen it.

  15. Cha Ching and all you others here that think you get one just for being on the road. I drive down the roads of Bremerton where the red light cameras are a lot. I have never, nor has anyone I know ever gotten a ticket from one of these cameras. So if you are TRULY driving safe and following the rules of the road you should be fine. Be as paranoid as you want, but if you get one and you are not driving the car, then maybe you shouldn’t be letting other people drive your car

  16. Cha Ching, I don’t write the laws and it has nothing to do with parking. I’ts fairly obvious that they wrote the law to try to make it work within the existing system. If you don’t want a ticket, don’t run the red light.

    Mo Fourthright, Try actually reading my post. I said I’ve been driving through those intersections for 35 years. News Flash, those intersections have been there for a lot longer that 35 years. Also your McCarthyism is showing. I’m no more a Socialist than President Obama. Perhaps I should run around like Chicken Little and cry “Fascist”? Shake the cobwebs out of your brain, turn off the Faux news and quit being a gullible follower (dittohead). Your childish behavior is pathetic.

  17. You are way off base. I am not standing up for the right to run a red light and disregard traffic laws. What I am standing up for is accountability, transparency and safety.
    blah blah blah …maybe I should go write it in chalk on the city sidewalk….

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