Study: Speed Cameras Save Lives

Data from Chicago reaffirms the efficacy of speed cameras at reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

1 minute read

January 12, 2022, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


A recent analysis of Chicago's speed camera program shows that, while the number of crashes increased between the study periods of 2012-2013 and 2018-2019, "the increases at cam locations were significantly lower than those experienced throughout the city as a whole." According to John Greenfield, this points to the effectiveness of speed cameras in changing driver behavior and reducing fatal crashes and injuries.

The study showed that "Fatal or serious injury crashes increased only 2 percent near speed cameras between 2012-13 and 2018-19, as compared to a 21 percent increase citywide," while overall crash totals increased by just one percent compared to 25 percent citywide. Greenfield concludes that, based on the data, "The cameras are doing their job by keeping serious and fatal crash numbers in the safety zones relatively low compared to those in other parts of the city, preventing life-changing injuries and deaths."

Despite this study and similar evidence from other places, speed cameras, also known as automated traffic enforcement, have encountered opposition from lawmakers who cite concerns about corruption, unequal enforcement, and civil rights violations. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of red-light cameras fell by a fifth, even as red light runners killed more people than in previous years.

Thursday, January 6, 2022 in Streetsblog Chicago

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Rail tracks on the left, rustic log-built train station painted reddish brown with a green metal roof and concrete platform on the right, evergreen forest and bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds in the background.

More Passenger Rail Coming to Montana

Planning is underway to restore a 45-year-defunct regional passenger rail line connecting southern Montana to Billings and Amtrak’s east-west Empire Builder line from Seattle to Chicago.

May 14, 2024 - 8KPAX

Close-up of person with vision impairment wearing jeans and white sneakers crossing yellow and white striped crosswalk with cane.

Being a Non-Driver in a Car-Dependent World

A third or more of Americans cannot drive due to their age, ability, or other factors. How can their travel needs inform our transportation systems?

5 minutes ago - Streetsblog USA

Aerial view of a line of freight trucks driving on a country highway.

How Cities Can Lead the Way in Reducing Transportation Emissions

Decisions made at the local level can have a significant impact on emissions in the transportation sector.

1 hour ago - Governing

Glass dome at front of modern San Jose City Hall building in San Jose, California.

San Jose Tests AI Translation Tool to Improve Access to Public Meetings

More than half of the city’s population speaks a language other than English at home, making translation services a key pillar of accessibility.

May 22 - GovTech

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.