St. Louis Red-Light Safety Cameras Changing Driver Behavior
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 24, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new analysis of the City of St. Louis' violator-funded red-light safety camera program shows drivers are adopting safer driving habits by pressing on the brake at red lights instead of stomping on the gas. As drivers comply with the law, the risk of dangerous red-light running collisions is reduced, and streets become safer for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The study reviewed nearly 350,000 red-light running violations issued in the city from the time the program began in February 2007 through August 2012 and found nearly four out of every five drivers (nearly 80 percent) who received one ticket did not get a second. Only 15 percent of drivers received two violations. This low rate of recidivism indicates drivers are getting the message authorities are sending through red-light safety cameras.
So far in the program's lifetime, the number of red-light running violations has decreased on average 55 percent at all locations, with reductions as high as 87 percent at some of the locations where cameras were first installed.
Red light safety cameras allow the police to expand their ability to enforce traffic laws over a wider area while focusing their efforts on more violent crimes. Red-light safety camera video has also provided evidence to help investigate non-traffic related crimes. The program analysis found that the St. Louis Police Department requested video from red-light cameras on more than 70 occasions to help with the investigation of carjackings, attempted rape, shooting, robberies, homicides and simple accident reconstruction. Video from the red light cameras also helped in the investigation of the hit and run driver who killed St. Louis City Police Officer David Haynes in 2010. The requests are also referenced in police reports and entered into evidence to satisfy conflicting testimony.
St. Louis also receives economic benefits from red-light cameras. The program is 100% funded by violators and not taxpayers. Every traffic crash exacts a financial cost on families, vehicles owners and the community at large. With every averted traffic crash, a community realizes a savings in medical costs, emergency services expenses and other costs. According to a 2012 study by John Dunham and Associates, the use of one red-light safety camera in St. Louis saves the community an average of $174,422 annually as a result of fewer traffic crashes.
ATS' study results are not unique to St. Louis. Independent studies have gone further and quantified the number of lives saved and crashes avoided. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2011 found 14 cities with red-light cameras experienced a 24 percent reduction in red-light running fatalities. Also that year, a Texas Transportation Institute study found right-angle crashes – the most life-threatening type of red-light running collisions – decreased 32 percent at intersections with red-light safety cameras.
About American Traffic Solutions:
ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. ATS has more than 3,000 installed red-light and speed safety cameras serving more than 30 million people. ATS has contracts in nearly 300 communities in 21 states and Washington, D.C., including: Fort Worth, Kansas City, Memphis, Nassau County (N.Y.), New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle and St. Louis. For more information, please visit: www.atsol.com.