It’s only two intersections, but the decrease in accidents an Illinois village has seen at them since 2007 is still worth noting.
In June, officials from Western Springs, Illinois said the intersections of Wolf Road and Ogden Avenue and Wolf Road and 55th Street have seen a significant drop in motor vehicle accidents since red-light cameras were installed in May 2009.
According to reports, the Wolf-Ogden intersection in the Chicago suburb previously average about 23 crashes annually from 2006 through 2008. That average has reportedly been reduced to 11 since the installation.
Likewise, the 2006-through-2008 average at the other intersection has dropped by a significant percentage – from an average of seven crashes to four – since the installation.
Until more data is collected, village officials are reportedly hesitant to conclude a correlation exists between the installation of the cameras and the decrease in accidents. However, these types of results apparently are not unique to Western Springs.
A Texas Transportation Institute report on red-light cameras released in April 2010 stated that since Dallas installed these cameras at 60 intersections in early 2007, the number of accidents at these intersections had decreased by 30 percent. Additionally, the occurrences of drivers running red lights decreased by an average of around 61 percent, with all intersections showing reductions.
While researchers continue to study the topic, the data available now seems to suggest that, by simply installing cameras with the intention of encouraging greater compliance to traffic laws, the number of accidents – and injuries, consequently – can be greatly reduced.
And considering roughly a third of all traffic accidents occur at intersections, this technology could have a substantial impact on roadway safety in the United States.