Red Light Myth Debunked?
Posted on Jun 14, 2012
It has often been argued by the detractors of increasing traffic regulation that efforts by transportation departments to prevent drivers from running red lights—shorter yellow lights, intersection cameras—lead to increases in rear-end collisions, as drivers are more prone to sudden stops and misjudgments of timing. WFTV, a local news station in Orlando, Florida, decided to test this proposition. Their results are bound to disappoint the skeptics. In the Central Florida areas researched, the installation of intersection traffic cameras led to decreases by as much as 57% in rear-end crashes.
The study is not the first of its kind, nor have all studies resulted in similar results. A 2005 study by the Federal Highway Administration found that such measures reduced right-angle crashes by 25%, but increased rear-end collisions by 15%. Other studies have found the effects to be relatively neutral. Either way, the latest study gives an endorsement to the current trend in highway safety administration and the increase in cameras populating our intersections. As Georgia has seen a significant rise in intersection cameras and monitoring systems over recent years, it can be a comfort to know that the most current studies are in support of these efforts and that our roads and intersections are safer than ever.