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Bakersfield, California Red Light Camera Accidents Up
Independent analysis shows accidents in Bakersfield, California increased where red light cameras were used.

Bakersfield, CA
An independent analysis released yesterday showed that red light cameras have produced no clear safety benefit in Bakersfield, California. According to the Bakersfield Californian newspaper, T-bone collisions jumped 14 percent at five intersections with cameras while such accidents dropped 27 percent at a set of four intersections used as a comparison. The study used California Highway Patrol data from 1999 and 2006.

"We found that on the whole, accidents actually increased where there are cameras and decreased where there aren't," Californian reporter James Geluso wrote.

Bakersfield Police have their own internal figures that claim accidents have gone down and that individual intersections happened to show some improvement. The city has no intention of abandoning the program which generated about $1.9 million worth of tickets last year. In 2004, the city was caught trapping motorists at photo enforced intersections where yellow signal times were so short that they violated state law. In 2006, another analysis showed the red light cameras caused a 47 percent spike in rear end collisions.

"Overall, injuries have gone up at some intersections," Detective Ryan Paslay admitted to the Californian at the time.

Independent studies in the US, Canada and Australia spanning more than a decade have shown that red light camera often increase accidents and injuries (view reports).

Source: Traffic camera data gives complex picture (Bakersfield Californian, 2/9/2008)

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