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Camera Effectiveness
Are Red Light Cameras Effective? Red light camera
Red light violations contribute substantially to the million intersection collisions that occur nationally each year. Sugar Land simply does not have enough officers to set up conventional police enforcement at each intersection and enforce red light running violations. In addition to manpower limitations, traditional enforcement endangers the lives of officers as well as innocent motorists and pedestrians due to the fact that the officer typically follows a violating vehicle through the red light to stop it.

The increasing use of red light cameras has been fueled by escalating violations, growing public support, advances in technology, and mounting documentation of their safety benefits. Red light camera technology has been shown to be a promising tool:
  • Changes behavior and leads to safer driving habits
  • Creates a violator-based revenue source that can be used to pay for increased public safety
  • Increases police officer safety and public safety
  • Reduces health care costs
  • Reduces traffic crashes and dangerous driving
  • Responds to public concerns
  • Saves lives

Facts About Effectiveness of Red Light Cameras in Sugar Land
  • The implementation of red light cameras in Sugar Land resulted in a 58 percent reduction in accidents at targeted intersections from 2009-2012. 
  • Approximately 70 percent of violators do not live in Sugar Land.
  • In 2011 and 2012, cameras were removed at the following intersections after compliance levels improved by almost 60 percent: U.S. Highway 59 at Sugar Lakes Boulevard and two locations at U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 6.
  • Those who receive a red light ticket rarely receive a second ticket.  Ninety percent of the license plates sent a violation notice never receive a second notice.

Other Examples

When red light safety cameras are operational, deaths and injuries related to red light running are significantly reduced:
  • Charlotte, North Carolina cut red light running violations by more than 70% in the first year
  • Since Washington, D.C. began operating its photo enforcement program in 1999, red light running violations at camera intersections has dropped as much as 66%. Fatalities involving red light running have decreased by half or more
  • Wilmington, Delaware reports the total number of citations issued at the city’s ten red light camera intersections has dropped an average of 62%
  • Garland, Texas initiated a red light camera program in 2003. During a 31-month period, red light cameras installed at four Garland intersections resulted in a 27% reduction in injuries from accidents and a 25% reduction in overall accidents.

Cameras are clearly not a replacement for police officers. An automated enforcement program is one component of a broad-based traffic safety program including engineering, education, and traditional law enforcement.

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