The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (DHSMV) recently released their third annual Red-Light Camera Summary Report analyzing data from 68 police agencies in the cities and towns in Florida where red-light safety cameras are deployed. The report shows a decrease in red-light running violations and crashes at intersections with red-light safety cameras and is consistent with results from previous state reports affirming the effectiveness of this important law enforcement tool.
Total violations decreased 14 percent from the 2013 study.
Out of the total 68 cities with red-light safety cameras, 52 listed the following as results of the red-light camera program:
- Improved driving behavior
- Improved public awareness
- Reduction in re-offenders
- Reduction in number of violations issued
- Reduction in severity of crashes
- Reduction in crashes and/or increases in driver and pedestrian safety
23 cities listed additional things to consider when selecting an intersection for red-light safety cameras, and 52 percent listed public safety-related factors, including the number of fatal crashes and hit-and-runs occurring at the intersection as well as pedestrian safety concerns.
The primary goal of red-light safety cameras remains improved traffic safety. This year’s DHSMV report provides many examples of improvement in Florida, the third-most dangerous state in the nation for red-light running fatalities. For example:
- In Miami, sideswipe crashes were reduced by 28%.
- Miami Gardens reported a 54% reduction in sideswipe crashes.
- Edgewood had zero accidents from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 and cited this as a direct impact from the red-light safety camera program.
- Margate experienced a 58% decrease in rear-end crashes since installing the safety cameras.
- Orlando reported a 31% reduction in sideswipe crashes.
- Despite only having three red-light safety camera intersections, Santa Rosa reported a 60% decrease in sideswipe crashes and a 46% decrease in rear-end crashes compared to one year before the installation of the cameras.
- Ocoee reported a 56% reduction in the same category with a 54% reduction in rear-end crashes.
- In Hillsborough County, at intersections equipped with red-light safety cameras, sideswipe crashes were reduced by 54% and rear-end crashes were reduced by 38%.
- Sarasota reported an overall decrease of 11% in accidents and citations issued at intersections with red-light safety cameras compared to the reporting period from the previous year.
- Coral Springs noted that since placement of the red-light safety cameras, injury crashes have decreased at a substantial rate – over 20% at all locations and continue to track down each year.
- Orange Park reported zero sideswipe crashes since implementing a red-light safety camera program.
Results in the DHSMV mirror those found in the 2014 Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) analysis that reported a 49 percent decrease in fatal crashes at red-light safety camera intersections on state roads saving an estimated 18 lives.
A separate analysis released in December 2013 by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows red-light running fatalities decreased 27 percent in Florida, from 83 fatalities in 2011 to 61 in 2012, outpacing the nation’s 5 percent decrease.