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Inland California Cities Find Cameras Increase Collisions
Upland, Rancho Cucamonga and Indian Wells see big increases in rear-end collisions.

Intersection diagramInland Southern California cities using red light cameras are experiencing the same phenomenon described in recent studies -- an increase, not a decrease, in accidents. The city of Upland has experienced a doubling of rear-end accidents. Similarly, in Rancho Cucamonga, rear-end crashes doubled with no reduction in T-bone collisions.

In the city of Indian Wells, a red light camera was installed in 2000. Far from eliminating accidents, as promised, accidents are actually on the rise. There were 5 accidents in 2003 (one at a camera intersection), 5 in 2002, 3 in 2001 (one at a camera intersection), and 1 in 2000. That does not include the rear end collisions.

Rancho Cucamonga is considering dropping their camera program. "It's something we need to re-evaluate and decide if it's right for us," management analyst Michelle Dawson told the Press-Enterprise.

Key Statistic:
One year after a red-light camera system was mounted above a busy intersection in Upland, red-light violations dropped 33 percent, and traffic flow increased 14 percent. While side-impact crashes dropped, rear-end crashes doubled to six incidents during that 12-month period, Hoctor said.

Rancho Cucamonga officials had mixed results for their two red-light camera intersections. A year before cameras were installed at Base Line Road and Carnelian Avenue, there were three broadside accidents and seven rear-end collisions. A year later, the number of broadside accidents remained the same but the number of rear-end crashes jumped to 15.

Article Excerpt:
Other Inland cities such as La Quinta and Temecula have considered installing red-light cameras but plans were shelved for various reasons, including concern over cost and legal ramifications over the cameras such as those experienced by San Diego. Temecula opted to hire additional police officers and launch a public awareness campaign instead of installing cameras.
Source: Traffic camera raises doubts (Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), 3/7/2005)

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