Peoria would like you to believe that they are alone in experiencing an increase in accidents due to red light cameras, but they are not. They join Los Angeles, Grande Prairie (Canada), Clarksville, TN, Temple Terrace, FL, and now Spokane, WA in recent announcements about the failure of RLC’s to make intersections safer. The Seattle Times reports:
Intersections where Spokane installed red light cameras in 2008 in the name of safety saw an increase in crashes and injuries in the first year of the controversial program.
There were 38 collisions at the three intersections the year after the city began fining violators caught on tape. That’s up from 32 the previous year, according to police collision reports provided to The Spokesman-Review.
Injury accidents at the intersections also rose from 11 the year before to 14 after.
Like the other cities, Spokane officials scrambled for excuses and justifications as to why the citizens should continue to be subjected to intersections where they face a greater chance of injuries so that the city can continue to enjoy what amounted to $108,000 in profit for 2009:
Spokane Mayor Mary Verner called the data “interesting,” but cautioned that it’s too early to make a final judgment on camera enforcement.
“The program has been effective in that we seem to have caught a lot of people running red lights,” Verner said. “If we’re not seeing a decline of injury collisions, then we need to figure out why not.”
If Spokane officials were honest, they’d join the likes of Southland City, CA, San Bernardino, CA in pulling the plug on their camera programs, a move that truly would make their cities safer.