1/5/2017Florida: State Report Shows Red Light Camera Accidents Up
Florida red light cameras issued $194 million worth of tickets while fatalities, injuries and crashes increased at camera intersections.
Red light cameras are on the decline in Florida, but the amount of money the devices collect continues to rise. That was one of the key findings in the year-end report on automated ticketing issued last week by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The agency tabulated information supplied by local jurisdictions, reporting that six cities dumped cameras last year, reducing the total number of devices operating statewide by 13 percent.
American Traffic Solutions (ATS), Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia, Xerox and Sensys Gatso Group of Sweden -- the companies that run the photo ticketing programs in the Sunshine State -- responded to that development by adjusting camera settings to more than make up the difference. For 2016, the cameras issued 1,227,927 tickets worth $194,012,466, up 27 percent from the 963,039 tickets issued the previous year. The state government's share of the profit in 2016 was $59,986,371.
According to the survey of cities, 8 percent said a decline in the amount of revenue collected would be considered a sign of success for the program. Another 48 percent said a decline in the number of crashes at a camera-monitored intersection would be a sign of failure. Neither benefit materialized in 2016.
The state's analysis of 148 camera-monitored intersections across 28 jurisdictions found that the number of accidents increased 10 percent overall after ticketing began. Rear end collisions jumped 11.4 percent while angle crashes rose 6.7 percent. These were not mere "fender benders" as fatalities doubled and injury crashes increased 9.3 percent.
The report notes that the figures were not adjusted for traffic levels at intersections as would be required in a more rigorous analysis. In addition, some cities did not include precise location information about each incident and its proximity to the camera.
The Florida legislature is expected to consider bills to repeal the state's authorization of red light cameras when it convenes on March 7. While the state House has passed camera ban bills in the past, the efforts have been blocked by Senate lawmakers after heavy lobbying from local jurisdictions and red light camera companies.
A copy of the report is available in a 2.6mb PDF file at the source link below.