4/3/2006Maryland: Red Light Cameras Increase Accidents
Anne Arundel County, Maryland red light cameras increase accidents 25-41 percent, but generate $2.85 million in revenue.
Red light cameras in Anne Arundel County, Maryland failed to reduce accidents in five years of use. A set of five cameras were set up in the communities of Arnold, Pasadena, Parole, and Crofton in 2000, but a comparison of accident statistics five years before and five years after their installation shows accidents have increased beyond the ten percent increase in traffic volume.
Upon installation, the cameras caused an immediate 40 percent increase in rear-end collisions from 53 in 1999 to 74 in 2000. Overall accidents were up between 25 percent and 41 percent from 107 in 1999 to 134 in 2001 and 151 in 2002.
The county recently dropped camera vendor ACS in favor of ATS which now receives a $20 bounty on every ticket the company issues. So far, $2.85 million in revenue has been generated. ATS cameras issued their first tickets on April 1.
A number of independent studies have documented similar negative side effects to red light camera enforcement. As a result of research on Virginia's camera program, the legislature decided last July to end photo ticketing in the state. West Virginia's legislature approved its own camera ban which was signed into law on March 31.