November 29, 2008
Red light camera study coming

We've been waiting for this for a long time: A study of the effects of red light cameras in Houston.

Mayor Bill White's administration plans next week to release a report on whether the 70-camera system has achieved its stated mission of reducing crashes at intersections.

The study, compiled for the Houston Police Department by researchers at Rice University and the Texas Transportation Institute, is said to show that monitored intersections are safer.

"The percentage of accidents caused by people running red lights where there are red-light cameras goes down," the mayor said last week.

White's office declined to release the report, in the works more than a year, saying it still needs clarification on some points.

A favorable study could give HPD a green light to install dozens more cameras, despite the controversy among some who criticize the program.

Critics argue they aren't effective at reducing wrecks. Rather, they say, the city is mainly interested in collecting the $75 fines.

Well, the critics used to say that the cameras were in violation of the state constitution, but they were wrong about that. Whatever the study says, I rather doubt that these people are going to change their tune. The question is whether they'll have data on their side, or if they'll have to find a new angle of attack. I'm looking forward to reading the report, and I hope it helps to at least settle a few questions about the implementation of the cameras here.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 29, 2008 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
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