Economic research firm, John Dunham and Associates, has completed a cost-benefit analysis of the direct economic savings that result from the use of red-light cameras at dangerous intersections across the USA. The study, which was commissioned by American Traffic Solutions (ATS), shows the savings that are realized by the decrease in crashes and the ability to redeploy police officers from monitoring dangerous intersections to other crime-fighting efforts. The study applied a conservative approach; using only the most basic factors for costs and savings, with the revenues resulting from citations paid by red-light runners not factored into the study’s calculations. The researchers calculated the estimated cost savings, over a five-year period, to a community from the deployment of one red-light safety camera at one busy intersection, in 25,000 cities and towns in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
According to the research, a reduction in the number of traffic crashes translates into a direct savings for the community. The analysis documented multiple studies, which showed that red-light cameras help reduce crashes and by reducing crashes, the cameras contribute an economic benefit to the community. The savings varied from city to city due to the variety of factors that were included in the methodology. As an example, the analysis shows a saving in Hazelwood, Missouri, of US$163,036 from one red-light camera in the first year of operation and cumulative savings of US$728,952 over five years.
John Dunham, managing partner of the research firm, commented, “The measurable costs of crashes, which have been calculated by the US Department of Transportation, are immense and impact everyone. These costs include medical, emergency services, property damage, lost productivity, the monetized value of pain and suffering, lost quality of life, travel delays, insurance administration and legal and court costs.” James Tuton, president and CEO of ATS, noted, “It’s indisputable that there is a cost associated with automobile crashes. This study finally provides us with the measurable economic benefits a city can realize by using even one red-light safety camera to decrease crashes in their community. However, the greatest benefit any community can achieve through road safety camera programs is saving people’s lives.” City-specific savings, along with a detailed explanation of the methodology used, can be reviewed at http://www.atsol.com/economicbenefit
18 July 2012
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