TEMPE, AZ–(Marketwired – February 03, 2015) – Red Means Stop, a leading advocacy group for red-light running related victims and safety advocates is calling on the Arizona Senate to reject legislation that could compromise safety and increase crash related costs in Arizona. Senate Bill 1167 would prevent police and sheriff’s departments from using red-light and speed safety cameras. Without these traffic enforcement tools, the number of dangerous collisions will increase, raising costs to communities and needlessly endangering innocent children and adults. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, in 2013 traffic related collisions were responsible for nearly $3 billion in economic losses.
“Reducing the incidence of crashes on our highways and saving lives should be a high priority for our elected officials,” said Howard Fleischmann, President of the Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance. “Taking a successful tool away from law enforcement is counterproductive.”
Nearly one Arizonan a day died in speed and red-light running related crashes in 2013, according to the latest figures from the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. If a virus were claiming lives at this rate, preventive methods would be implemented without hesitation. Red-light and speed safety cameras are preventive measures.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently quantified the benefits of red-light and speed safety cameras at the state level. A fully implemented red-light and speed safety camera program in Arizona would prevent 49 fatalities and reduce the number of injuries by 4,128. This reduction translates to a financial benefit to Arizona of more than $166 million annually in avoided costs of: medical, emergency services, market productivity, household productivity, insurance administration, workplace costs, legal costs, travel delays and property damage.
The CDC’s Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and Cost Calculator for States, is built specifically for state decision-makers. It recommends the best mix of safety devices based on their cost-effectiveness and capacity to prevent the most injuries and save the most lives. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/calculator/index.html.
In Arizona, red-light and or speed safety cameras are in use in Chandler, El Mirage, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Star Valley, and Tucson. Safety improvements to date, include:
- Collisions decreased nearly 68% at intersections in Tucson with red-light safety cameras from 188 in fiscal year 2006, the last year without cameras, to 61 collisions in 2014.
- Since 2007, the City of Mesa has seen a 35% decrease in serious injury collisions at monitored approaches.
- In September 2013, the City of Phoenix released data comparing calendar year 2007-2009 versus calendar year 2011-2012, the data indicated that Phoenix’s red light photo-enforcement program had:
- Decreased the number of collisions that were a result of a red-light violation by 47.1% at photo-enforced intersections.
- Decreased the number of collisions involving injury or death that were a result of a red-light violation by 60%.
No one should die or be injured on our streets. This bill puts drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians at risk. Red-light running and speeding are problems in Arizona. If you don’t believe it, watch the video at http://youtu.be/XmTht_1ieDc. It is a chilling reminder of the dangers of speeding and red-light running.
About Red Means Stop:
The Red Means Stop Coalition is the only known grassroots organization of its kind in the United States. Our long-term goal is to have the message about the dangers and consequences of red light running spread throughout the country until red light running is significantly reduced everywhere. For more information visit www.redmeansstop.org.