Crashes drop with intersection cameras

Aug. 2, 2011 at 2:31 PM
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Cameras at intersections to catch drivers running red lights have significantly cut the most dangerous type of collision, a Texas study released Tuesday shows.

The Texas Transportation Institute's Center for Transportation Safety compared records at 275 intersections for the three years before and after cameras were installed.

Investigators found red-light related crashes were down 25 percent and the most dangerous collisions, T-bone crashes where one car hits the side of the other, dropped 32 percent.

"These findings show clearly that red light cameras offer significant safety benefits," said Troy Walden, author of the institute's study. "Most important, they help prevent the most severe and deadly type of intersection crashes."

The cameras are controversial in some Texas cities and elsewhere. In Houston, voters approved a referendum last year to remove the cameras, but a federal judge found the vote invalid.

Michael Kubosh, one of the leaders of the anti-camera movement, planned a rally Tuesday afternoon outside city hall, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Opponents of the cameras argue the study data is inconsistent between cities, with crashes dropping less in Houston than in Dallas and actually increasing in Corpus Christi after cameras were installed.

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