Red Light Cameras Cause Rear-End Crashes


Red-light cameras were first installed in New York City in 1993. Since then, their popularity has grown dramatically and it is estimated that more than 100 communities use the technology. Research on the issue of red-light cameras and accidents showed generally positive outcomes. Starting in 2001, the U.S. Department of Transportation funded research in seven jurisdictions with data from before and after installation, as well as at reference and control sites. Research has shown a significant decrease in right-angle crashes (379 fewer crashes). However, it also showed a significant increase in rear-end crashes (375 additional crashes) as people slammed on their brakes to avoid a ticket. As for injuries, the red-light cameras reduced injuries in right-angle crashes by 55 and increased injuries in rear-end crashes by 32.