The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) today called on the City of Los Angeles to continue its highly successful red light safety camera program. NCSR President and Executive Director David Kelly said the program has proven it makes communities safer.

“There is a mounting body of evidence showing red light safety cameras change dangerous driver behavior — saving lives and reducing injuries,” said Kelly, who is also the former acting administrator of NHTSA. “L.A. residents and officials just need to look at the local and national results to see the positive effects of these safety programs.”

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.

“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).”

These findings mirror those of a recent national study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Red light safety cameras helped save more than 150 lives in the 14 biggest U.S. cities from 2004 to 2008, according to IIHS. Had the cameras been operating in all 99 U.S. cities with populations over 200,000, more than 800 lives could have been saved.

David Kelly is NCSR’s principal spokesman and representative before state and national policymaking bodies. He is the former acting administrator of NHTSA. President Bush nominated him to the position after Kelly served as the agency’s Chief of Staff. He also served as director of the U.S. National Safety Council’s Airbag & Seat Belt Campaign.

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