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Canada: Report Finds Winnipeg Red Light Cameras Increased Accidents
The installation of red light cameras increased accidents by 39 percent in Winnipeg, Canada according to insurance claims.

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Accidents increased by 39 percent at the intersections where red light cameras were installed in Winnipeg, Canada. Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck obtained data from Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), the monopoly provider of cover in the province, revealing collision figures far more negative than those published by the Winnipeg Police Service. The department has consistently claimed that there is a safety benefit to the cameras despite a 2006 report from the Winnipeg City Auditor recommending that the more complete insurance numbers be used because they include all incidents for which an insurance claim was filed.

The MPI data show that at the first twelve locations where cameras were installed in January 2003, accidents increased from 204 the year of installation to an average of 240 between 2004 and 2009 -- an 18 percent increase. At the next twelve locations, cameras were activated in August 2003. Accidents there increased from 289 in 2003 to an average of 427 -- a 48 percent increase. Figures were not available for the years before cameras were installed at these locations.

Another dozen cameras were installed in August 2004. At these locations, there were 326 accidents in the year before installation. In the after period from 2005 to 2009, the average number of accidents was 399 -- an increase of 22 percent. The next dozen cameras were installed in August 2005. Excluding Charleswood Parkway and Grant Avenue where full data were not available, there were an average of 488 accidents in the before period, from 2003 to 2004. In the after period, from 2006 to 2009, there were 747 -- an increase of 73 percent. Three more cameras were installed between 2009 and 2010, but not enough data are available to evaluate their impact.

While accidents increased at the photo enforced intersections, accidents decreased throughout the country. According to the latest available Transport Canada statistics, there were 2073 road fatalities in 2003 and 1814 in 2008 -- a decline of 14 percent. In Manitoba, the fatality rate, adjusted for traffic volume, dropped 22 percent from 2005 to 2007.

The group Wise Up Winnipeg is challenging the city to extend the length of yellow light times by one second at photo enforced locations to increase safety. The group invited Georgia state Representative Barry Loudermilk to testify at a press event in March explaining the state's success with longer yellow times.

A copy of the data is available in a 120k PDF file at the source link below.

Article Excerpt:

* Reflects year of installation, earlier data not available
Source: PDF File Number of Collisions at Redlight Intersections (Manitoba Public Insurance, 10/1/2010)

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