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Crashes Up At Red Light Camera Intersections?

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jun 8, 2010 4:40PM

So how safe are red light cameras anyway? For a while, it's been suggested that they actually make intersections more dangerous. Now, professor Rajiv Shah, an adjunct at UIC, has released a study showing that while traffic accidents across the city are down over the past few years, accidents at the city's 39 red light intersections increased by six percent from 2006 to 2007. Of course - grain of salt - those numbers are now several years old. Not surprisingly, the City of Chicago, which made over $60 million from red light camera tickets in 2009, takes umbrage with Shah's research.

“There is no question that in the city of Chicago drivers are safer because of red-light enforcement,” said Brian Steele, spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation. “What we’ve seen thus far in our preliminary results is a 20% reduction in right angle crashes at intersections that have red light cameras and a 10% reduction in overall crashes.”

The Expired Meter talked to Shah and delved a bit deeper into the numbers.