Lesson from Houston: Crashes Double after Red Light Cameras Removed
James Pinkerton reports: "Auto crashes more than doubled at busy Houston intersections after red light cameras were pulled from those areas, according to figures released by the Houston Police Department."
The decision to remove the cameras was costly in financial terms as well: "The controversial network of cameras installed at 50 high-risk intersections was taken down after it was defeated in a November 2010 referendum, halting an estimated $10 million in annual revenue to HPD. After the vote, the city filed a lawsuit against American Traffic Solutions, based in Arizona, to settle a breach of the camera contract, and eventually agreed to reimburse ATS $4.8 million for early termination."
The traffic safety figures came to public attention during a Public Safety Committee hearing regarding the "Strategic Growth Plan" under consideration by the Houston Police Department.