8/31/2006UK Red Light Cameras Fail to Improve Behavior
Red light cameras in Scotland, UK have failed to reduce red light running.
Road safety officials in Scotland claim that red light cameras were installed not to generate revenue, but to produce a change in behavior that would result in fewer accidents at intersections. According to the latest data, there has been no change in behavior despite using the devices for thirteen years and collecting millions from drivers.
"This is really worrying," Colin McNeill, manager of the Lothian and Borders Speed Camera Partnership told The Scotsman newspaper. "We are getting the same number, month in, month out. It scares me that we are seeing no reduction."
Six cameras are in use in the capital, Edinburgh, rotated among twenty-five locations. Motorists do not know which of these intersections have a live camera because all twenty-five are designed to produce the tell-tale flash, even when no ticket-writing camera is present.
"Everyone wants safer roads, but we will not get them until we disband the incompetent partnerships and ditch the useless cameras," said Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign. "We need to refocus road safety policy away from regulation and compliance and back towards skills and attitudes."
Independent research in Australia, Canada, and the US has questioned the safety benefits claimed by red light camera advocates. Some has documented a significant increase in accidents where the technology is used. Most recently, The Washington Post found a doubling of accidents in the US capital while Winnipeg, Canada's only insurance company reported 58 percent more accidents at red light camera intersections.