Crashes Up Since Red Light Cameras Voted Down?


Last November, Houstonians voted to remove red light cameras from dangerous intersections around the city.  The cameras remain up while litigation is pending, but a new study released tonight by the camera company, American Traffic Solutions,  shows that crashes are up at those intersections.

Mayor Annise Parker and other city leaders supported red light cameras as method to reduce crashes and discourage red light running.

However, critics complained the cameras were money makers for Houston and did nothing to reduce crashes.

I’ve posted information from the company. Obviously, that is just one side of the story.


Houston Police Department Data Shows Intersection Crashes Up 137 Percent

Since Cameras Turned Off


SCOTTSDALE, AZ (June 8, 2011) – New data, just released by the Houston Police Department, shows crashes at intersections previously monitored by red-light safety cameras have increased by nearly 137 percent since the cameras were shut off last November.  HPD’s analysis found that there were 366 more crashes at these intersections from November 2010-April 2011 (634) than there were from November 2009-April 2010 (268).

 red lght cameras one

Red lght cameras

“Every traffic collision exacts its own toll on families, vehicle owners and the community-at-large,” said James Tuton, President and CEO of American Traffic Solutions. “Medical care, vehicle removal and repair, and the attention from police and other emergency response personnel are just a few of the measurable costs associated with traffic crashes. Red-light safety cameras help reduce vehicle collisions by changing driver behavior.”

This data expands on a recent Houston Chronicle study that compared crash rates for the six months prior to, and after, the cameras were turned off.  That comparison concluded that crash rates had actually slightly decreased.

“Unfortunately, this type of data is what we expected to see based on the increase in potential red-light running violations that had been observed since the cameras stopped issuing citations,” added Tuton.

Additionally, HPD’s analysis also showed that “Major” collisions more than quadrupled from 44 from November 2009-April 2010 to 200 from November 2010-April 2011, the period since the cameras have been disabled. “Major” collisions are defined by HPD as those that include injury and significant damage. 

Based on a recent economic model created by John Dunham and Associates, we estimate that each of the 72 cameras in the Houston Red Light Safety Camera Program saved the city more than $50,000 a year, $3.5 million in total, simply by reducing the number of red-light running related crashes.  This savings was after any fees paid to ATS and did not include any additional revenue generated by red-light running violations.

A February 2011 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that nearly two-thirds of the deaths and injuries from red-light running related crashes were people other than the red light runner including: bicyclists, pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles. The study also found that, in 2009, 676 people were killed and more than 113,000 were injured in red-light related collisions.


About American Traffic Solutions:

ATS is proud to be the market leader in Road Safety Camera installations in North America. ATS has more than 2,600 installed Intersection and Speed Safety Cameras serving more than 30 million people. We have contracts in 240 communities in 22 states and Washington, D.C., including: Fort Worth, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Nassau County (NY), New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle and St. Louis. ATS also offers PlatePass, an automated electronic toll payment service that enables rental vehicle customers to use high-speed, cashless electronic toll lanes. ATS is a privately-owned, U.S. corporation. For more information, please visit: or

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