Red-light cameras can save lives: study

February 3, 2011

Arlington, VA – Red-light camera enforcement in 14 large cities reduced the rate of fatal red-light-running crashes by 24 percent, according to findings from a study (.pdf file) released Feb. 1 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Researchers analyzed camera enforcement programs in 14 cities from 2004 to 2008 and in 48 cities without camera enforcement programs during that period and from 1992 to 1996. They compared the citywide per-capita rate of fatal red-light-running crashes and the citywide per-capita rate of all fatal crashes at signalized intersections during the two study periods. Findings show:

  • Red-light cameras saved 159 lives from 2004 to 2008 in 14 of the biggest U.S. cities.
  • If red-light cameras had been in place for all five years in all 99 U.S. cities with populations of more than 200,000, a total of 815 deaths could have been avoided.

The Governors Highway Safety Association released a statement supporting the IIHS research and reaffirming support for states to use red-light cameras.