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Report shows decrease in red-light crashes

According to a new study released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), for the second consecutive year, red-light cameras have reduced the number of intersection crashes in a majority of the cities and towns in the state that use them. Nearly 59% of the agencies responding to the DHSMV’s survey reported a decrease in total crashes. Similarly, 61% of the 44 agencies that track side-impact crashes reported a decrease in collisions; while 43% reported a decrease in rear-end crashes. According to the report, while Florida jurisdictions using red-light safety cameras have seen a decrease in red-light running related collisions, collisions at intersections statewide have typically increased. The report also noted that the state’s ‘non-recidivism rate’ at 95%, meaning only 5% of drivers receiving a violation were issued a second, indicating the cameras are changing driver behavior through traffic law enforcement.

A separate analysis released in December by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), shows red-light running fatalities decreased 27% in Florida, from 83 fatalities in 2011 to 61 in 2012. Pursuant to the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, a portion of all red-light running fines issued through safety camera programs goes to trauma centers and to research efforts addressing spinal and brain injuries. Thus far, more than US$5m has gone to the Miami Project, which researches new treatments for persons living with spinal and brain injuries, many of which are the result of traffic crashes, and more than US$16m to other trauma centers throughout the state. Charles Territo, spokesman for American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the state’s leading red-light camera provider, said, “This report confirms what so many already know, in Florida red-light safety cameras are working. Driver behavior is changing and the number collisions and fatalities resulting from red-light running, continues to fall.”

January 13, 2014

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