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Poll shows strong support for red light cameras

The following hit my inbox early Friday morning:

A citywide survey of 500 likely voters in Houston’s 2010 general election conducted by a nationally respected polling firm last month finds strong support for the City of Houston’s intersection safety camera program that cuts across political, racial, and socioeconomic lines.

The survey, which was conducted March 1-2, 2010 by Wilson Research Strategies LLC, discovered several key findings:

  • Two-thirds of highly likely Houston voters, 65 percent, support the use of Intersection Safety Cameras.
  • Almost half of likely voters, 45 percent, said they “strongly” support the high-tech equipment.
  • Over eight in ten Houstonians, 84 percent, have heard of the intersection safety program. Just two percent said they had “no opinion.”
  • Strong support for Intersection Safety Cameras cuts across political, racial, and socioeconomic lines: 65 percent of Whites; 67 percent of Hispanics; and 60 percent of African-Americans support the Intersection Safety Cameras.
  • Furthermore, Republicans, Independents, and Democrats all support Intersection Safety Cameras: 58 percent of Republicans; 73 percent of Independents; and 62 percent of Democrats support the devices.
  • Voters showed an overwhelming degree of support for Intersection Safety Cameras and the benefits they bring the Houston community: 77 percent of voters were convinced that Intersection Safety Cameras are a reasonable response to people who run red-lights; 74 percent of voters were convinced that it is helpful that Intersection Safety Cameras have the ability to record the date, time, location and speed of the vehicles they photograph to ensure the accuracy of tickets; 71 percent of voters were convinced that Intersection Safety Cameras make Houston safer; and 60 percent of voters were convinced that Intersection Safety Cameras help to free-up police officers so they can focus on fighting other crimes.
  • Finally, voters indicated that yellow light standards are important, with 80 percent of voters agreeing that every intersection should be reviewed to make sure that there are clear standards dictating how long a yellow light should last in order to improve the intersection safety cameras.

“Houston voters are overwhelmingly supportive of Intersection Safety Cameras,” states Wilson Research Strategies in their memo accompanying the survey results. “The vast majority of Houston voters are aware of the cameras and approve of the City of Houston’s use of them. While there are some differences in support among demographic groups, majorities of all political, racial, and socioeconomic groups support Intersection Safety Cameras. It is clear that Houston voters have reached an informed decision about Intersection Safety Cameras and believe that they are a worthwhile means for the city to effectively monitor traffic violations.”

A few things to note:

– I replied to the email to inquire about crosstabs and question wording, but have not heard anything back as yet. What you see above is everything I got.

– I’m pretty sure that I was one of the respondents to this poll. I got a robocall last week asking me about red light cameras, and I figure there can’t have been two of these in the field at the same time.

– Speaking of which, this is the first time I’ve ever heard the phrase “Intersection Safety Cameras”. To the best of my recollection, they used “red light cameras” in the questions. Which makes sense, since that’s the term that everyone had been using.

– Like I said, I can’t comment on the makeup of the poll or any of the details because I don’t have them. I don’t recall being amazed or insulted by any of the questions’ wording, which seems to me to be the easiest way to juke the responses, so assuming they got a reasonably representative sample and employed a sensible “likely voter” screen, this would appear to bode poorly for the Kubosh anti-red light camera referendum. Excuse me, the Kubosh anti-Intersection Safety Camera referendum. Still, it’s just one data point, and no one’s run any scaremongering ads yet, so don’t carve anything into stone.

– Finally, the disclaimer at the end of the release read “Paid Political Ad by Keep Houston Safe PAC – Jim McIngvale, Treasurer”. Just thought you’d want to know that.

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4 Comments

  1. Stacey says:

    I love the way Redflex and ATS pay for these polls and then think anyone believes them.

    These companies are involved with APCO which came up with a scientific front group that said smoking, pesticides, and xenoestrogens aren’t harmful. Check out the poll information on the second link also. These people are pure evil.

    http://www.meetup.com/camerafraud/messages/boards/thread/8764909

    http://www.meetup.com/camerafraud/messages/boards/thread/8671328/0#34593097

    camerafraud.com

  2. […] Last week I wrote about a poll commissioned by a group called the Keep Houston Safe PAC about attitudes towards red light cameras. The result was quite favorable for the cameras, but at the time I didn’t have full information on the poll. I do now, and you can see the polling memo here and the crosstabs plus question wording here. Basically, the demographics of the poll look reasonable to me, and the support for the cameras is across the board. Given how much media attention the anti-camera forces have succeeded in getting, it’s almost stunning how positively the cameras poll. As I said before, no one has run an ad yet in any campaign to disallow them, so there’s still room for opinion to move, but given the high level of awareness and the sizable number of people who said they strongly support the cameras, I’d say Team Kubosh has an uphill task before it. […]

  3. Paul Kubosh says:

    This Poll reminds me of the College Station Poll. I hope they rely heavy on it.

  4. […] really have much to add. It is a lower level of support for the cameras than what we saw in the previous poll, which may mean 1) the previous poll was juiced by the camera supporters who commissioned it; […]