Red light cameras save lives, group says

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) is condemning the "regrettable" decision by the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners to put money before safety in its vote to end the city's successful red light safety camera program."Ending this very successful and effective program will put innocent lives at risk," said David Kelly, president and executive director of NCSR and former acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). "There is a mounting body of evidence showing red light safety cameras change dangerous driver behavior - saving lives and reducing injuries in Los Angeles and across the country. Los Angeles residents and officials need only look at the local and national results to see the positive effects of these safety programs." A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that 676 people were killed and 113,000 were injured in crashes that involved red light running in 2009. Two-thirds of the victims in these crashes were pedestrians, bicyclists or occupants of vehicles hit by the red light runners. The study also showed red light safety cameras helped save more than 150 lives in 14 of the biggest U.S. cities from 2004 to 2008. Had the cameras been operating in all 99 U.S. cities with populations more than 200,000, more than 800 lives could have been saved. "It's unconscionable for the board to put money before safety in Los Angeles," said Kelly. "We must do everything in our power to protect innocent motorists, pedestrians and cyclists and prevent senseless deaths from reckless red-light runners. Red light safety cameras are proven to change dangerous driver behavior and reduce red-light running." Contributed by the National Coalition for Safer Roads.

********** Published: June 9, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 8