More than fifty California municipalities use traffic safety cameras to reduce crashes and save lives in their communities, and these programs have had enormous success. Reports show that traffic cameras significantly reduce the incidence of injuries and fatalities caused by red light running, and jurisdictions that implement photo enforcement systems see a dramatic drop in red light violations, creating safer roadways for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.
Despite the program’s tremendous success, red light cameras are still being challenged up and down the state. The results from these decisions have the potential to be deadly, as cities such as Houston reported near 600% increases in red light running within months of turning off their cameras.
Last year, the California Legislature took the first steps toward reforming the red light camera program. Now, we need take these efforts further to ensure we have a program that builds on this success and ensures those who break the law and run red lights are held accountable.
Assembly Bill 666, recently introduced in the California Legislature makes improvements to the state's safety camera program by:
California law is clear and the data indisputable: red means stop and red light cameras save lives. A 2011 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found red light cameras led to:
Photo enforcement is a proven deterrent that changes behavior and leads to safer driving habits. We must support Assembly Bill 666 to ensure those who break the law and run red lights are held accountable. The result will be the preservation of a critical life-saving law enforcement tool and safer roads for all California road users.
Paul and Sue Oberhauser
National Co-Chairs, Traffic Safety Coalition
Source: California Highway Patrol.
"I watch them look up. They see that camera enforced sign and they slow down. They think twice about running the light."
Sean O’Neill, Bakersfield driver
"People talk about the fact that Culver City has the cameras. That makes them extra cautious around the city because of that fact."
Sgt. Omar Corrales, Culver City Police Department
Napa Police Capt. Jeff Troendly said there is no doubt the cameras accomplish what they were installed to do, citing a reduction in the number of red-light cameras being triggered since all four were fully operational in February 2010.