Spring 2004, p.15

Life Saving NYC Red Light Cameras on Verge of Disappearing

Red light running is a deadly problem in New York City. Reckless motorists run over one million red lights a day and red light runners injure and kill hundreds each year. Yet, the City Department of Transportationís 50 red light cameras will disappear at the end of this year unless the State Assembly finally approves an extension of the program. The cameras have overwhelming popular support, including 89% of New York AAA members, the mayor, the city council, all five borough presidents and the New York State Senate. Despite this support, direct pleas from the mayor and the City DOT commissioner and thousands of faxes from T.A. members and the concerned public, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has treated the red light camera program as a negotiating chit that the mayor has to cash in return for making concessions to Silver on unrelated issues like the cityís loft laws and rent stabilization.

Red light cameras work. A huge pile of evidence from around the world and in New York City shows that the cameras reduce crashes and injuries. In New York City, red light cameras have reduced pedestrian injuries by 19%, overall injuries by 10% and crashes by 40% over a six year period at 60 locations. A 2002 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found similar results in California, where red light cameras reduced crashes at intersections by 46%.

Read the latest news about red light cameras.