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California: Modesto Cameras Increase Accidents
Half of the red light cameras in Modesto, California have created as much as 81 percent more accidents.

Red light cameras have neither increased safety nor generated as much revenue as expected in Modesto, California. Two out of four camera-equipped intersections have seen an accident increase in the six month period from July to December 2005. In the last nine months of 2005, the devices have issued 1153 citations worth $340 each generating $392,020 in total revenue.

After the state and Redflex, the private Australian contractor that runs the program, took their share of the proceeds, the city was left with no net profit -- a situation the city hopes will change by adding up to six additional cameras. Redflex has absorbed all losses from the program to date, in violation of a California statute mandating that red light camera programs be operated on a flat-rate basis.

A comparison of collision statistics six-months before and six months after cameras were installed shows accidents increased 3 percent from 34 to 35 at Standiford and Sisk. Accidents jumped 81 percent at Oakdale Road and Briggsmore, from 16 to 29. At two other intersections, accidents dropped -- 31 percent at Tully and Standiford and 49 percent at Briggsmore and Precott.

Source: Traffic cameras still in the red (Modesto Bee (CA), 4/18/2006)

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