You may hate to get those annoying tickets in the mail, but the stats are in – red light cameras help save lives in the big cities around the U.S.
According to a new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), red light cameras have saved 159 lives from 2004 to 2008 in 14 of the biggest U.S. cities. The IIHS goes on to say that 815 deaths would have been prevented if the cameras had been in place during that period in all large cities in the country.
“The cities that have the courage to use red light cameras despite the political backlash are saving lives,” says IIHS president Adrian Lund.
The IIHS came up with their findings after examining 99 U.S. cities with populations over 200,000. They compared those with red light camera programs to those without. The researchers compared two periods – 2004-08 and 1992-96 – so they could see how the rate of fatal crashes changed after the introduction of cameras.
In their findings, the IIHS concluded that in the 14 cities that had cameras during 2004-08, the combined per capita rate of fatal red light running crashes fell 35 percent, compared with 1992-96. The rate of fatal red light running crashes also fell in the 48 cities without camera programs in either period, but only by 14 percent.