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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

Thursday, February 24, 2000
Contact: TaMara McCrae
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 9-00

Automated Cameras Work
FHWA Study Finds Red Light Running Violations Down 60 Percent

A report released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration shows that red light running violations decreased by as much as 60 percent at intersections where cameras automatically enforce the law.

The report analyzed results of red light running camera programs in Los Angeles County; San Francisco; New York City; Howard County, Md.; and Polk County, Fla.

"These results indicate once again that innovation and new technologies, such as cameras used to prevent red light running, can help improve safety, which is President Clinton's and Vice President Gore's highest transportation priority," U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater said. "Red light running is dangerous, and aggressive driving behavior can can result in tragic injuries and deaths for pedestrians and other motorists."

In Los Angeles, cameras were installed at rail-grade crossings. Reductions in violations by 92, 78 and 34 percent were found at each of three crossings where cameras were initially installed.

Six months into the pilot program in San Francisco, the number of vehicles photographed running red lights at intersections with enforcement cameras decreased more than 40 percent.

A 38 percent reduction in violations in New York City led to the extension of state legislation enabling the use of automated enforcement.

Maryland's public education and awareness program, which included automated cameras at selected intersections, resulted in a decrease in violations from 90 per day to 60.

Florida transportation officials reported that this technology brought about a decrease in violations and proved to be accurate, safe, reliable and cost effective.

"Using technology such as high-tech automated cameras at busy intersections is key to making our highways safer," said Federal Highway Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle. "These cameras are an important tool that can help save lives."

In 1998, there were almost 1.8 million intersection crashes, including those caused by drivers running red lights. The crashes resulted in 1.2 million injuries and more than 8,000 deaths.


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