Love them or hate them, red-light cameras have dramatically cut accidents, Frisco says
Here’s an understatement:
Not all Texas drivers are fans of red-light cameras.
The Houston City Council voted last fall to turn off that city’s cameras, which had been installed at 50 intersections. The council action followed a 2010 referendum in which a majority of Houston voters said they wanted the cameras gone.
A red-light camera at Commerce Street and Cesar Chavez Boulevard in Dallas. ((PATRICK T. FALLON/DMN))
But in Frisco, the police remain adamant that the cameras are making the roads safer.
In a news release issued today, Sgt. Brad Merritt, spokesman for the Frisco Police Department, says the presence of the cameras at two busy Preston Road intersections has made a “remarkable” difference in the number of accidents.
Crashes at the two intersections declined by 50 percent in the first year after the cameras went up, compared with the last year before they went up, Merritt said.
He added that rear-end collisions have decreased. Critics of the cameras often argue that they tend to increase rear-end crashes, because drivers will slam on the brakes if they think a light is about to change rather than risk a ticket.
“And since the cameras have been installed,” Merritt wrote, “there have been no crashes at either intersection caused by a red light runner.”
Frisco has three cameras keeping an electric eye on motorists. One watches the northbound lanes of Preston at Lebanon Road, and one the southbound lanes. The third is on the southbound lanes of Preston at Gaylord Parkway.
Merritt noted that more than 5,100 tickets have been issued as a result of the surveillance, and that two-thirds of them have gone to “drivers whose vehicles are registered in other cities.” I’m not sure what that means — maybe that a lot or people from Dallas and Plano like to shop at Stonebriar? Or eat at In-N-Out?
One year’s worth of accident data from just two intersections may be too a small statistical sample from which to draw conclusions, but the results in Frisco are similar to those from other cities.
Last August, the Texas Transportation Institute reported an 11 percent decline in accidents at 275 intersections statewide where the cameras were in place. Looking just at accidents involving someone running a red light, the decline was 25 percent. The institute is part of the Texas A&M University System.
Among the explanations cited by the Traffic Safety Coalition, a nonprofit group that studies highway safety issues, were “increased seat belt usage, improved air bag technology, safer driving habits and local police departments taking advantage of new technology to hold lawbreakers accountable through the use of live-saving enforcement tools such as red light cameras.” (Emphasis added.)
And in Houston, the coalition said, after the cameras were turned off, “police cited a 350 percent increase in injury crashes and a 1,300 percent increase in total crashes at intersections where cameras were once active.”
Frisco Police Department news release:
RED LIGHT CAMERAS SUCCESSFUL IN FRISCO
FRISCO, TX – The purpose of a red-light safety camera enforcement program is to decrease poor, distracted, and irresponsible driving by reminding motorists to obey traffic laws. These programs are a tool to assist police departments and help positively change driver behavior. Poor driver behavior increases the risk of crash-related injuries and fatalities, putting both drivers and pedestrians in danger.
According to NHTSA, Texas is one of the top 3 most deadly states for red-light running collisions. In 2010, over 60 people lost their lives due to an intersection crash in Texas. The City of Frisco installed 3 cameras at two different intersections in March 2011.
Since those cameras were installed over 5,100 red-light running violations have been recorded. The majority of violations 66% are being committed by drivers whose vehicles are registered in other cities. Additionally when comparing the first full month of violation data to the most recent data, red-light running violations have been reduced by 34%. A look at the crash data comparing 1 year before the cameras were installed to the year after the cameras were installed shows that total crashes at the two intersections have almost been reduced by nearly 50%. Rear end crashes have been decreased, and since the cameras have been installed there have been no crashes at either intersection caused by a red light runner.
These remarkable numbers are evidence that the cameras are meeting the goals of public safety and making roads safer for motorists. The Frisco Police Department will continue to work with its Citizen Advisory Committee and its vendor ATS to identify new intersections that may benefit from the use of this technology.
Author:Leslie Fogle Phone: 214-364-5888 Dated: July 30th 2012 Views: 3,313 About Leslie: I was born and raised in the Central Valley of California. I attended California State University, S...
JP And Associates REALTORS (JPAR) is one of the top 100 independently owned brokerages in the US. A full service real estate brokerage firm specializing in real estate sales and marketing services with multiple offices across the US and expanding quickly. JPAR is also one of Real Trends top 500 Brokerages in the US for volume and sales and in the top 1% in the US for sales.
Our mission is to provide extraordinary services and exceed our clients’ expectations by always committing to the highest levels of professionalism, ethics and standards in the real estate industry.
JP and Associates REALTORS is a real estate company with a solid structure and foundation built around service and productivity. We believe in providing a fun and rewarding environment for all our REALTORS® and therefore always ready to support our REALTORs® Associates in any market and in any condition. All our REALTORs® will always strive to close more transactions in a given year than the average REALTOR®. Our goal is to recruit and retain the most professional, better trained REALTORs Associates in the local market.
If you are interested in a new career in real estate or already have a real estate license but wish to learn more about our company please contact us directly to set up an interview. We offer our agents a 100% commission plan, company leads, training and mentoring and coaching from TOP Producers with no office, desk fees or monthly marketing fees ever. We are a full service brokerage at a transaction fee cost.
At JP And Associates REALTORS we strive to exceed our Clients AND our Associates expectations.
General Inquiries: email@example.com
Office Number: 1 (800) 683-5651
Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice
How Low Supply & High Demand Impacts the Real Estate Market [INFOGRAPH
"Jayson & Leanna are very professional and very upfront. They were there to answer any questions we had which was very comforting. You can't ask for a better experience when buying a home, especially when you're a first time buyer.