The Conroe Police Department issued a statement earlier this week announcing the implementation of a red light camera program, which stated in part:
The “Warning Period” began the morning of January 5, 2010 and will continue until February 4, 2010. A violation notice will be sent out, but no fine will be assessed during this month unless the driver is stopped by a Police officer. After February 4, 2010, citations will be issued with civil fines of $75 for violations.
The following is in response to the newly announced red light camera program in the City of Conroe.
By Officer David Falco
…because the life you save may be your own or someone you care about!
RUNNING RED LIGHTS
Take a moment and read the information below in regards to running red lights and the use of the Red Light Camera Program. The time you take to read this could save your life and make you a little more intelligent.
Red-light Running Facts
Red-light running is a dangerous and costly problem.
- Red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- In 2006, 144,000 injuries and nearly 900 fatalities in the U.S. were attributed to red-light running. There were more than 1.8 million accidents at intersections.
A crash caused by a driver who runs a red light is more likely to result in serious injury or death.
- Deaths caused by red-light running are increasing at more than three times the rate of increase for all other fatal crashes.
- More people are injured in crashes involving red-light running than in any other crash type.
- Reduction in red-light running through a comprehensive red-light camera program will promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare of Conroe’s citizens.
Most people run red lights because they are in a hurry, when in fact they save only seconds.
- Almost all drivers (96%) fear being struck by a red-light runner.
- A majority of Americans (56%) admit to running red lights.
- Red-light runners can be anyone who drives.
- One in three Americans knows someone who has been injured or killed in a red-light running crash.
- Red-light running is often a result of aggressive driving and is completely preventable.
Sources: “Stop Red Light Running,” Federal Highway Administration Safety Website: safety.fhwa.dot.gov/programs/srlr.htm.2002.
R. A. Retting and A.F. Williams, “Characteristics of Red Light Violators: Results of a Field Investigation,” Journal of Safety Research (1996): 27.1, 9-15.
Red-light Cameras Increase Safety by Changing Driver Behavior in the Long Run
- In a 2007 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, researchers tallied signal violations at intersections in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before and after red-light camera enforcement was in effect for about one year and found the cameras reduced violations by 96 percent.
- Since May 2007, the city of St. Louis, Missouri has experienced a 49 percent reduction in citations at the first two photo-enforced intersections.
- The city of Cathedral City, California reported a 50 percent decrease in the number of citations issued since 2007 and a 30 percent decrease in the number of reported traffic collisions at photo-enforced intersections.
- The city of Seattle, Washington reported a 50 percent decrease in violations during the first year of its pilot program with six initial camera sites.
- After the city of Gallatin, Tennessee, installed red-light cameras in 2006, citations for red-light running are down more than 40 percent and traffic accidents have reduced by 25 percent.
- In Garland, Texas, crashes caused by red-light runners decreased by 56 percent (from 43 crashes to 19) at four intersections with red-light cameras installed. Overall, crashes reduced by 25 percent, and all injury crashes reduced by 27 percent.
- After the first six months of its Intersection Safety Program, Houston, Texas reported a 30 percent decrease in overall crashes.
- From 1994-2005, red-light running violations decreased 73% in New York City.
- Accidents are down 11 percent in intersections with red-light cameras in Arnold, Missouri. At one intersection in front of a school, accidents decreased 50 percent.
- During its first year of operation, the City of Florissant, Missouri saw a 51 percent reduction in citations at intersections with safety cameras.
- In Calgary, Canada, the city reported a 29.4 percent decrease in total right-angle collisions, a 39.4 percent decrease in injury right-angle collisions, and a 100 percent decrease in fatal right-angle collisions.
- Statistics from the Red Bank, Tennessee Police Department show a 13.8 percent reduction in collisions citywide on a year-over-year basis. Collision reductions at camera-equipped intersections resulted in even greater reductions.
To sum it up- STOP RUNNING RED LIGHTS!!! And sadly enough, because so many people do run red lights, I strongly recommend that you do not jump right out there into the intersection when your light turns green. Look first to make sure you’re not going to get hit by a red light runner. You would be amazed at how late some drivers think they can still run the red light.
Be as safe as you can, or stay off the road!
The opinions expressed above, though they may be shared, are that of the author and not necessarily that of the publisher.