10/20/2006Swampscott, Massachusetts Report Rejects Red Light Cameras
A report by a town committee in Swampscott, Massachusetts recommends against red light cameras on the grounds of safety.
A committee established to determine whether Swampscott, Massachusetts should install red light cameras concluded Monday that the devices were not suitable for the town. In April 2006 town meeting, Swampscott residents rejected an initial attempt to install the devices. The selectmen created the committee to keep the camera idea alive. A former police officer and a former police chief along with an attorney voted 5-0 to approve the report.
"Analysis of this data revealed that, over the four year period, there has been a combined total of 10-13 angle crashes caused by red light running," the report stated. "The limited number of angle crashes, combined with the likelihood that RLCs increase rear-end crashes, led the committee to conclude that the installation of RLCs is contra-indicated at all signalized intersections in Swampscott. Strictly on the basis of public safety, the committee recommends against the use of RLCs in Swampscott."
On the positive side, the committee did find that red light cameras did not endanger privacy and that they could generate up to $490,000 in revenue in the first year. The report also discusses a number of engineering changes, including lengthened yellow warning times, that could improve safety without any downsides.
"The committee feels that utilizing the town's law enforcement powers to raise revenue is inappropriate," the report stated. "This issue could potentially be exacerbated if the contractual relationship between the town and the RLC vendor involves law enforcement in a revenue sharing plan."
The full report is available in a 1.2mb PDF file at the source link below.