Accidents Increase At Kansas City Red Light Camera Intersections?
But according to the Kansas City Star at most KC intersections outfitted with red light cameras, crashes have actually risen over the past two years. At least that’s what a study released by the Kansas City Police Department says after they studied over 2500 car crashes at RLC intersections within the city.
The story says the police report shows total accidents increased at 11 of 17 RLC intersections in the second year of the camera enforcement program, jumping 18% compared to the year before. KC’s red light camera program began in 2009.
Accidents that resulted in an injury (and in one case a fatality) were up at 13 of the 17 intersections.
Only right angle crashes, generally believed to be the most dangerous type of car crashes, declined according to the study.
The story quotes UIC Professor Rajiv Shah, who conducted a similar study of Chicago’s red light camera program.
The results didn’t surprise Rajiv Shah, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who studied the effectiveness of red-light cameras in Chicago and concluded in 2010 they offered “no significant benefit.”
“I’d say that’s very consistent with what cities across America have found,” he said of Kansas City’s results. “There’s not really a hard connection between reducing accidents and red-light cameras.”
Confusingly, data seemingly contradicting the original report, was released at a KC police board meeting Tuesday night that says accidents at the 17 RLC intersections dropped from 52 before the cameras were installed to 24 after they went in according to the newspaper.
Read the Kansas City Star’s full story, “Study suggests red-light cameras don’t add to safety.”
And here’s the paper’s followup story, “KC police officials request more study of red light cameras.”