Report says red-light cameras effective at reducing accidents, violations


Collisions at city intersections with red-light cameras have been reduced by 26 percent since the camera program began in 2010, says a report just released by the City of Rochester. Collisions involving disregard for traffic-control devices have dropped 78 percent, the report says. And red-light camera violations have dropped 30 percent since the time that the cameras were installed, it says. 

The report (see below) was compiled by SRF Associates, a Rochester transportation engineering and planning consultant. It comes out as City Council considers legislation renewing the red-light camera program. The city currently has 48 cameras at 32 intersections. The locations were determined by traffic volumes, accident history, and a review of accident data by city staff, the report says. 

The report uses crash data from November 10, 2008, to June 30, 2014, provided by the Rochester Police Department. 

The program has been somewhat controversial. Some people describe it as a money grab that targets the area's poorest citizens. It was also revealed that city employees are not required to pay the fine when they're caught running red lights while on city business. And RedFlex, the camera firm that the city uses, has had troubles of its own.  

Other cities have gotten in trouble for shortening the duration of yellow lights in order to catch more red-light runners — though that has not been an issue in Rochester. And collecting on the fines has proven difficult in some places. It's not clear if that applies to Rochester; the report does not address fine collection.