The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit association representing highway safety offices across the country, released a statement yesterday in strong support of the use of automated traffic enforcement technology, including red light cameras, to improve safety for all road users.
In a newly released publication, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that communities that have suspended red light camera programs have seen their rate of fatal red-light-running crashes per capita increase 30%.
This latest IIHS research reinforces prior studies finding a correlation between red light cameras and safety gains, including a recent evaluation of red light camera programs in Delaware that showed a reduction in dangerous T-bone crashes at intersections equipped with cameras.
While surveys show that residents in most cities favor red light programs, the total number of communities using this technology dropped from 533 in 2012 to 467 last year.
Following removal of these safety tools from the community, this research reveals that subsequent fatal crashes at signalized intersections increased by 16%. This means that between 2010 and 2014, 63 deaths occurred in intersections that previously were protected by red light cameras.
To maximize safety benefits, GHSA recommends that red light cameras follow the guidelines established by the Federal Highway Administration and be used at high-crash sites or where law enforcement personnel cannot be deployed safely.