National Coalition for Safer Roads rebuts argument that red light safety cameras are used as surveillance tools.

WASHINGTON, DC, APRIL 29 – The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) is urging Connecticut citizens and lawmakers to understand that automated red light safety cameras are about improving safety and are not designed for, or intended to be used as surveillance systems. NCSR is making this important point as the Connecticut General Assembly debates legislation to enable Connecticut municipalities with 60,000 or more residents to utilize, if they so choose, this proven traffic safety technology.

“Unfortunately, there are a number of myths and conspiracy theories about the use of red light safety cameras,” said David Kelly, President and Executive Director of NCSR. “These myths can take on a life of their own, so it is important to know the facts. The facts are that red light safety cameras are already in use in over 400 cities and towns across the United States and are proven to reduce dangerous accidents. Further, these systems are designed specifically to detect red light running traffic violations involving automobiles. They are not designed for or used as surveillance systems to detect other crimes.”

According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, in 2006 there were approximately 3,500 motor vehicle collisions associated with traffic control violations, many involving red light running. Sixty percent of these accidents resulted in injuries. The use of red light safety camera systems in Connecticut would help address this serious public safety issue.

According to a recently completed study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the use of red light cameras from 2004-2008 in 14 U.S. cities saved 159 lives and reduced the rate of fatal red light running crashes by 35 percent. Had other cities, including those in Connecticut, been using red light safety cameras during this time period, a total of 815 deaths could have been avoided.

The safety case for red light camera systems is clear, compelling, and the reason why many local organizations and individuals including the Connecticut Livable Streets Campaign, the New Haven Safe Streets Coalition, the Regional Plan Association, the City of New Haven, and a prominent Yale University pediatric emergency room doctor, have all testified in favor of legislation to allow the use of these cameras in Connecticut’s cities.

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.