Red Light Cameras: Safety First

By Mark Talbot, Americas Local Government, Xerox

Think about this the next time you and your family get in the car: According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, accidents caused by running a red light killed 676 people in 2009, but 159 lives were saved from 2004 to 2008 in the 14 largest U.S. cities that used red light cameras.Red Light Cameras: Safety First

If every city with more than 200,000 people was red light camera equipped between 2004 and 2008, 815 lives could have been saved. That’s a powerful number.

We’re aware that the cameras sometimes get a bad rap and we have our eyes wide open to the concern around them. You may even know firsthand that feeling of seeing a camera flash in your rear view mirror. So we were interested to see this story on TODAY about red light cameras; why some communities embrace them, but also why one legislator wants them removed. People have their opinions, we know, but the numbers don’t lie: the cameras save lives and change driver behavior for the better, saving people from some of the most dangerous accidents where drivers are caught completely by surprise.

So what’s Xerox doing talking about red light cameras? We help governments create photo enforcement programs in dozens of cities, counties and states around the world. And we stand tall in our effort to keep roads safe.

But there’s another benefit to red light cameras you may not be thinking about: Instead of taking time away from other police duties, cameras act as a “force multiplier,” which means that they free up police to focus on crime prevention and putting bad guys in jail. Safer roads, safer communities.

We know the debate over red light cameras won’t end, but we think the facts tell a compelling story and we’ve seen their benefits firsthand. What do you think? Let us know.

 

Related Posts

Receive Updates

17 Comments

  1. Quite interesting and different post.. Keep posting..Stay blessed!!

  2. James C. Walker July 6, 2013 - Reply

    Xerox and the IIHS are both aware that adding one second to the yellow intervals will almost always reduce red light violations by more than the predatory ticket cameras.

    Red light cameras are about money. Better engineering produces more safety than the cameras which are about money.

    James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

  3. Know Someone Who Was Fatally Injured by a Red Light Runner July 8, 2013 - Reply

    I agree with this. Though I would like to add that I am thinking this could ease financial and time pressure on our police forces so that their departments would have no trouble finding time and resources to develop their commitment to peace education, domestic violence training, and mental health training as essential to their officer and dispatcher training and CE. Nonviolent Communication can go a long way to inviting people to reconnect to themselves and others and increase the safety in a difficult situation and I think its worth cultivating.

  4. Know Someone Who Was Fatally Injured by a Red Light Runner July 8, 2013 - Reply

    I agree with this. How many people who find it hard to not run a red light find the eyes on them via a photo from a camera and a fine much easier to respond to?

    On the double benefit of freeing officers up for work in our communities, I would like to add this. I am thinking this could ease financial and time pressure on our police forces so that their departments would have no trouble finding time and resources to develop their commitment to peace education, domestic violence training, and mental health training as essential to their officer and dispatcher training and CE. I have seen and heard that Nonviolent Communication can go a long way to inviting people to reconnect to themselves and others and increase the safety in a difficult situation and I think its worth cultivating.

  5. Duke Ganote July 11, 2013 - Reply

    Yellow-light timing is too easily manipulated for revenue entrapment — like the proverbial butcher with his “finger on the scale” (of justice). Until there’s transparency, accountability, auditing and verification, letting tens-of-thousands of local governments have enforcement cameras just proves that “power corrupts”.

  6. Cthorsman July 11, 2013 - Reply

    I was nailed recently by someone running a red light. My vehicle totaled. No camera would have stopped this accident. The driver of the other car was not paying attention.

    Adding a second or two to the yellow would have avoided this accident.

  7. bucketofsquid July 12, 2013 - Reply

    If you are worried about the yellow light timing you have a number of options; vote and talk to your city council or state govt.
    Pay attention.
    The precedent for massive penalties and possible jail time for those involved in short yellow lights leading to tickets is well established.

    The only people that really dislike enforcement cameras are lousy drivers and the paranoid. The alternative of armed militias on the street corners is being discussed in some cities where the cameras are not used. Would you prefer a ticket or a bullet?

  8. James C. Walker July 12, 2013 - Reply

    For bucketofsquid: The problem is that the city and state governments already know the yellow timing is too short at their profitable camera locations. They did it on purpose, to create more profits. There is NO precedent for penalties and jail time for officials who set short yellows to create profits.
    The people who really dislike enforcement cameras are the ones who understand they are used in locations where the traffic engineering parameters are deliberately done improperly for profits.
    We prefer proper traffic safety engineering factors which will mean that cameras will not be used because they would lose money.

  9. bethany July 18, 2013 - Reply

    I will make sure no one I know buys anything xerox. Acting as though this is not completely for profit. Thanks ever so much for saving us from ourselves. Unbelievable.

  10. Falynne Finagan, Xerox July 18, 2013 - Reply

    Hi Bethany,
    Thank you for your comment. We understand that it is not a pleasant experience to receive a traffic ticket regardless of whether it is from a red light camera or from a member of law enforcement.

    Falynne Finagan
    Editor, Xerox Real Business Blog
    Xerox Corporation

  11. James C. Walker July 18, 2013 - Reply

    Unfortunately, Xerox supports improper traffic light timing and speed limit setting because these deliberate ways to mis-engineer the traffic controls are VERY profitable for Xerox.

    Without the deliberate mis-engineering of the traffic controls and the deliberate ticketing of mostly safe drivers, the ticket camera industry would go bankrupt.

    For Xerox and the other camera vendors justice, safety, fairness, due process, etc. have no validity. Only the ticket camera profits are meaningful.

    James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

  12. Brian Hoskins March 4, 2014 - Reply

    Interesting that you reference a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as evidence that red light cameras save lives. That study was later proven to be flawed and inaccurate. Correctly interpreting the IIHS model reveals that cities that used red light cameras had an estimated 25% HIGHER rate of fatalities.

    You can access the study here in the Florida Public Health Review by three PhDs from the University of South Florida College of Public Health: http://hsc.usf.edu/…/5FD239…/0/2012pp001008Orbanetal.pdf

    I quote:
    “Our review reveals the 2011 IIHS study is logically flawed and violates basic scientific research methods that are required for a study’s findings to be valid. It has neither internal nor external validity. More importantly, the IIHS did not fully explain the results of its analysis. Correctly interpreting its model’s results actually shows that cities using RLCs had an estimated higher rate of red light running fatalities, specifically 25%, than cities that did not use RLCs in the period “after” cameras were used. Further, the IIHS study was only able to make statements suggesting favorable results from the use of RLCs due to the biased selection of sampled cities.”

    In a WSJ article this week, there’s another study that shows that RLCs are actually causing MORE, not fewer, accidents: http://on.wsj.com/1pvfmZZ.

    I quote:
    “Mr. Brandes pointed to the state study released this month showing that rear-end collisions at red-light-camera intersections on state roads increased 35% since 2010, when cameras were introduced in Florida, and that crashes overall jumped 12% in the same period.”

    You say that Xerox is focused on helping governments keep their roads safe, yet you paid $6.4 BILLION to acquire Affiliated Computer Services that administers RLCs. Your multi-million dollar contracts with city governments are nothing more than a payoff to local municipalities strapped for cash. You are then milking residents for $500 tickets, more than many Americans can save in months, and taking a huge cut of the profits. I won’t even get into the questionable legalities of assigning tickets based on who owns the vehicle when you cannot prove that person was behind the wheel or that Xerox employees are illegally acting as de facto prosecutors for city court systems.

    If your focus is on keeping people safe, STOP THE RED LIGHT CAMERAS NOW! Even the study you cite on your own blog is false. It’s clear that Xerox doesn’t care at all about keeping people safe, only about the money they are extorting from city governments.

  13. Brian Hoskins March 4, 2014 - Reply

    Here’s the full link to the University of South Florida study that refutes the statistics you quote in your blog. You should be ashamed to lie about numbers relating to people’s safety: http://bit.ly/1c70nSw.

  14. Joe Longmeyer March 18, 2014 - Reply

    The study you cite on your own self-serving blog actually proved that red light cameras cause MORE accidents. You sure look like an idiot now. It’s telling that you haven’t responded to any of the comments disproving your own study.

    How about admitting the truth, that you only care about profits? Public safety, due process, justice, and fairness all take a back seat to your corrupt pursuit of the almighty dollar.

  15. James C. Walker March 21, 2014 - Reply

    It is wrong, but totally logical, for Xerox to defend their business unit whose profitability depends upon deliberately mis-engineered speed limits and traffic lights to issue most tickets to safe drivers for revenue, not safety.

    James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

  16. Mike F. April 8, 2015 - Reply

    Xerox,
    I know you have your justifications, and I’m sure you love the money you get from red light cameras, but I feel most communities that use them are only concerned about the easy money. They care less about safety. As others have pointed out, That study you use as proof was later proven to be flawed and inaccurate. Therefore, You as a corporation only care about profits. It’s very difficult for the average citizen to fight red light camera tickets, because your company hides the real facts about how these cameras are programmed and maintained. Your cameras/software can easily be revised to increase the number of tickets given to drivers. You’re participating in legalized corruption, extortion, bribery, and unfair taxation.

    I will NEVER buy any Xerox products ever again and I will try to get my company to do the same.

    Your company should get out of the red light camera extortion business ASAP.

  17. James C. Walker April 9, 2015 - Reply

    Thanks, Mike F.

    Red light cameras are a predatory money grab scam that requires giving most tickets to safe drivers for small technical fouls that endangered absolutely no one. If cameras ticketed only unsafe drivers that were causing safety hazards or risking crashes, the total of the fines would not even come close to paying the high camera costs – typically $4,000 to $5,000 per month per camera.

    Red light cameras are essentially governmental theft for profits, which are then split with companies like Xerox who are in this immoral business. If every customer of Xerox understood their presence in this immoral money grab business, they might lose enough total business to divest of their division in this scam business.

    James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association

Post A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To see how we protect your personal data, view our Privacy Policy.