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The impact of red light cameras on safety in Arizona

By Kangwon Shin and Simon Washington


Red light cameras (RLCs) have been used in a number of US cities to yield a demonstrable reduction in red light violations; however, evaluating\ud their impact on safety (crashes) has been relatively more difficult. Accurately estimating the safety impacts of RLCs is challenging for several\ud reasons. First, many safety related factors are uncontrolled and/or confounded during the periods of observation. Second, “spillover” effects caused\ud by drivers reacting to non-RLC equipped intersections and approaches can make the selection of comparison sites difficult. Third, sites selected\ud for RLC installation may not be selected randomly, and as a result may suffer from the regression to the mean bias. Finally, crash severity and\ud resulting costs need to be considered in order to fully understand the safety impacts of RLCs.\ud Recognizing these challenges, a study was conducted to estimate the safety impacts of RLCs on traffic crashes at signalized intersections in the\ud cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Twenty-four RLC equipped intersections in both cities are examined in detail and conclusions are drawn.\ud Four different evaluation methodologies were employed to cope with the technical challenges described in this paper and to assess the sensitivity of\ud results based on analytical assumptions. The evaluation results indicated that both Phoenix and Scottsdale are operating cost-effective installations\ud of RLCs: however, the variability in RLC effectiveness within jurisdictions is larger in Phoenix. Consistent with findings in other regions, angle\ud and left-turn crashes are reduced in general, while rear-end crashes tend to increase as a result of RLCs

Topics: 111700 PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES, 150700 TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES, 170100 PSYCHOLOGY, Red light running, Red light enforcement camera, Before-and-after study, Intersection safety
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.aap.2007.03.010
OAI identifier:
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