TEMPE, Ariz., Jan. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A decrease in traffic crashes is the most common outcome among 73 Florida communities with red-light safety cameras, according to a new survey by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
The results attest to the effectiveness of red-light safety cameras as a viable police tool for the enforcement of traffic laws and reduction of dangerous crashes. The clear majority of reporting agencies showed total crashes, angle-crashes and rear-end crashes all decreased in number from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Forty-four percent of community police departments noticed a reduction in side-impact crashes, 41 percent experienced a reduction in rear-end crashes, and 56 percent reported a total reduction in crashes at red-light camera intersections.
But police also noticed a change in driver behavior at intersections without red-light safety cameras, indicating a repeat behavior over a larger area. According to the report, "The most common improvements cited were: reductions in drivers running red lights at intersections using cameras; reductions in red-light violations observed by law enforcement at all intersections; and an increase in cautious driving, jurisdiction-wide."
"American Traffic Solutions is pleased but not surprised by the results in this statewide report. This analysis mirrors similar findings in communities across the country, and demonstrates that red-light safety cameras reduce dangerous T-bone crashes by changing driver behavior," said Charles Territo, Vice-President of Communications, American Traffic Solutions (ATS).
ATS is the vendor of choice for more than 70 communities in Florida. The safety impact from photo enforcement cameras continues to deliver benefits. Since the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act was signed into law in 2010 the number of traffic crash injuries attributed to drivers disregarding the traffic signal (including running red lights) has fallen 15%, from 5,879 to 4,991.
Red-light running related crashes killed 81 people in Florida in 2011. A 13% decrease from the 93 fatalities in 2007, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nationwide, red-light running fatalities decreased 22% across the same time period.
In a state that ranked the third most deadliest in the nation for traffic related fatalities in 2010, the decrease adds up to saved lives and costs. The estimated cost to each community for a single traffic fatality is $6 million, according to cost components selected by the Federal Highway Administration. Florida's 81 red-light running fatalities cost the state $486 million in workplace, medical, property damage, emergency services and other costs.
Pursuant to the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, a portion of all red-light running fines issued through red-light safety camera programs goes to trauma centers and to research efforts addressing spinal and brain injuries. Thus far more than $7 million has gone to level one trauma centers and nearly $3 million has gone to the Miami Project for research into new treatments for persons living with spinal and brain injuries, many of which are the result of traffic crashes.
A video of 2012 red-light running related collisions and near misses can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yxO_PO7jhc.
About American Traffic Solutions:
ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. ATS has more than 3,000 installed red-light and speed safety cameras serving more than 30 million people. ATS has contracts in nearly 300 communities in 21 states and Washington, D.C., including: Fort Worth, Kansas City, Memphis, Nassau County (N.Y.), New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle and St. Louis. ATS also offers PlatePass, an automated electronic toll payment service that enables rental vehicle customers to use high-speed, cashless electronic toll lanes. ATS is a privately-owned, U.S. corporation. For more information, please visit: www.atsol.com or www.PlatePass.com. To view video that serves as a chilling reminder of the dangers that red-light runners present to our family and children; visit ATS on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ATSRoadSafety
Contact: Charles Territo
Title: Vice President of Communications
Phone: (480) 443-7000
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Source: American Traffic Solutions