TheNewspaper.com: Driving Politics
Home >Camera Enforcement > Red Light Cameras > Houston Red Light Cameras Fail to Prove Safety Benefit 
Print It Email It Tweet It

11/20/2007
Houston Red Light Cameras Fail to Prove Safety Benefit
After a year of red light camera use in Houston, Texas there is no evidence that the devices have saved lives.

Mayor Bill White
One year after the installation of red light cameras, Houston, Texas Mayor Bill White declared the program a success, claiming the devices have led to a "dramatic decline" in the number of accidents. Further investigation by local television station KPRC suggests the ticketing devices may not have created such a clear-cut safety benefit.

A total of eighteen camera systems have been operating for the past year. KPRC compared the number of accidents one year before the devices were installed to one year after and found that ten intersections showed fewer collisions while seven showed an increase. In the case of the intersection of FM1960 and Tomball Parkway, the jump was a staggering 220 percent.

The number of accidents at a given intersection fluctuates from year to year so that a single year's results can sometimes be misleading. This is especially the case when cameras are installed at intersections that, in one year, happened to have an abnormally high collision rate. A statistical error known as "regression to the mean" occurs when the natural drop in the number of accidents to a more normal level is ascribed to some other cause, such as red light cameras.

KPRC's investigation also noted that cameras were installed in at least four intersections where collisions were extremely rare. Mayor White admitted factors other than safety went into the selection of camera locations. White promised a report in January that would show the benefits of the devices which have generated millions in revenue for the city.

View KPRC's accident spreadsheet (18k PDF file).

Source: Do Red-Light Cameras Reduce Accidents? (KPRC-TV (TX), 11/20/2007)

Regional News:
Other news about Houston, Texas



Permanent Link for this item
Return to Front Page


Related News
Motorists Sue Over Washington Traffic Camera Secrecy

Texas Cops Get Overtime For Supporting Red Light Cameras

Federal Judge Rejects Redflex VP Demand For Settlement Cash

Illinois Village Residents Vote Down Red Light Camera, Gas Tax

OPINION: Road And Track Is Wrong About Red Light Cameras




View Main Topics:

Get Email Updates
Subscribe with Google
Subscribe via RSS or E-Mail

Back To Front Page


Front Page | Get Updates | Site Map | News Archive | Search | RSS Feed
TheNewspaper.com: Driving politics
TheNewspaper.com