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Traffic cameras at intersections reduce accidents

Some of our complaining about Big Brother watching every step we take may have to come to an end? At least if we are to believe a report published by Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. According to their study, traffic cams conspicuously placed at intersections with stop lights apparently have a positive impact on reducing accidents. Additionally, just having them visible at some intersections may be making a difference at intersections where no cameras have been placed.

The study was authorized in 2015 by the Chicago City Council and was led by Northwestern U’s Transportation Center Director, Hani Mahmassanni. The study concluded that auto accidents resulting in injuries reduced by as much as 10 percent in the study period after visible cameras had been placed at the intersection. The study also concluded that accidents referred to as ‘angle and turn crashes’ reduced by as much as 19 percent.

The news isnt all good, however

Consistent with findings from other cities that had conducted similar studies between 2005 and 2009, however, the report also concluded that low-speed rear-end collisions actually increased by 14 percent. The researchers did not speculate about the cause of the increase rear-enders, but it is easy to think that some drivers were busier looking overhead at the cameras than at the car in front of them. 

Conclusions from the study

Researchers presented the following conclusions based on the study results:

  • Large metro areas should schedule annual reviews of crash statistics to determine whether cameras should be placed at intersections where they are not currently installed.
  • Police should know that enforcing an infraction for running a red light if the driver barely squeaks through will not have a positive effect on reducing accidents. Drivers honestly are caught in a dilemma about whether to stop or proceed through the intersection when the light turns yellow.
  • Communities using red-light cameras should work toward public acceptance by keeping the public informed of the positive results the cameras have in reducing accidents at intersections.

If you were injured in an accident occurring at an intersection in the Denver metro area, get legal help fighting for your rights. Call our firm for a free consultation.

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