Tuesday, October 04, 2005

In Not So Surprising News

In an independent analysis, the Washington Post has found that the intersections in the District that have red-light traffic cameras saw a larger increase in accidents than those intersections that did not. Here's the money quote:
Three outside traffic specialists independently reviewed the data and said they were surprised by the results. Their conclusion: The cameras do not appear to be making any difference in preventing injuries or collisions.

"The data are very clear," said Dick Raub, a traffic consultant and a former senior researcher at Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety. "They are not performing any better than intersections without cameras."

This is not the first time that researchers have come to this conclusion. Since traffic cameras appear to do little to improve traffic safety, does this mean that the District will get rid of the red light camera program and do something more sensible like increasing the length of time the traffic light stays yellow? Don't bet on it. There's 32 million reasons to maintain the status-quo.