7/1/2007Colorado: Red Light Camera Increased Accident Rate 45 Percent
Accidents steadily increase over ten years where a red light camera is used in Fort Collins, Colorado.
An intersection in Fort Collins, Colorado has seen a steady increase in collisions over the course of a decade while a red light camera busied itself issuing $75 citations to vehicle owners. Although officials installed the device claiming it would save lives and reduce collisions, College Avenue and Drake Road saw accidents jump 45 percent over the past five years of use compared with the first five.
The Coloradoan newspaper obtained these data from the Fort Collins Traffic Operations office. They showed that in 1996, the accident rate was 1.51 for each million cars passing through. By 2005, that number reached a peak of 2.81 per million.
The jump was attributed to the rise in rear end collisions, which a Canadian study showed caused the number of injuries to spike along with the increase in property damage. The Fort Collins experience is also consistent with the findings of a number of scientific studies conducted since 1995.
After seeing the poor results, officials extended the duration of the yellow light at College Avenue by a second. The accident rate quickly dropped from 2.81 to 2.0 last year, representing the steepest decline since the device was installed.