The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) disagrees with today’s vote by the Los Angeles City Council to end the city’s effective red light safety camera program. In a February letter to the city’s Board of Police Commissioners, Los Angeles Chief of Police Charlie Beck highlighted the “measurable safety improvements” that resulted from the city’s Photo Red Light (PRL) Program.

“The council made the wrong decision today to end Los Angeles’ red light camera program – putting motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and passengers at risk,” said David Kelly, president and executive director of the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), and former acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “These safety cameras are saving lives and reducing injuries in Los Angeles and across the country, but without these safety cameras acting as watchdogs, people are put at an increased risk for red-light runners in the city’s intersections.”

Los Angeles’ red light safety program has been so successful there hasn’t been a single fatality related to red light running at any of the 32 intersections monitored by red-light safety cameras. Conversely, there have been more than 200 fatalities at intersection without red-light safety cameras.

“From January 2004 to December 2009, red-light collisions at PRL intersections have decreased by 63 percent,” wrote Beck. “Additionally, there has been an overall decrease of 10 percent in all types of collisions, and no red light related fatalities since program activation (compared to five fatalities in the three years prior to PRL enforcement from January 2004 to December 2006).”

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that 676 people were killed and 113,000 were injured in crashes that involved red light running in 2009. Two-thirds of the victims in these crashes were pedestrians, bicyclists or occupants of vehicles hit by the red light runners.

The study also showed red light safety cameras helped save more than 150 lives in 14 of the biggest U.S. cities from 2004 to 2008. Had the cameras been operating in all 99 U.S. cities with populations more than 200,000, more than 800 lives could have been saved.

“If the Los Angeles City Council is serious about safety, they must continue to utilize these life-saving devices to protect innocent motorists, pedestrians and cyclists and prevent senseless deaths from reckless red-light runners.” Kelly said.

NCSR is a nonprofit advocacy organization that brings together industry leaders, community leaders and concerned citizens in support of red light safety camera technology. Coalition members include the National Safety Council, Child Safety Network, National Organizations for Youth Safety, America Walks, and Red Means Stop. NCSR receives funding from American Traffic Solutions. NCSR helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red light safety cameras can improve driver behavior. For more information, visit, follow @SaferRoadsUSA on Twitter and on Facebook at