Having written a number of pieces on red light cameras, we have come across surveys that showed a group of people being in favor of the intersection sentinels, but we have never come across a survey in which a majority of people in a particular city actually lobbied for the automated ticket generators. A poll taken by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety changes that. In a survey of people in 14 cities that have had "long-standing" red-light cameras, it found that a majority of people in all but one city were in favor of them. Only Long Beach, CA came in below the cut, at 48 percent. Washington, D.C. topped the 'yea'-ers with 78 percent.
The IIHS characterizes the results as "Two-thirds of drivers in 14 big cities with longstanding red light camera programs support their use." Now, we're not saying they're wrong, but we would like to see a larger sampling. The release states that "More than 3,000 people in the 14 study cities were interviewed by cellphone and landline between Feb. 19 and March 29," including folks in Chicago, Phoenix and San Diego. Those three hamlets boast 5,488,632 people, meaning that the survey includes less than a tenth of a percent of the population of those three cities alone, much less the entire 14.

Follow the link for the particulars. But, as Consumer Reports notes, with the IIHS saying 56 percent of Houstonians are in favor of cameras, but 53 percent of Houstonians rejecting red light cameras, we'll go with the voters and not the respondents for now.


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  • 103 Comments
      q3a7vodk4
      • 3 Years Ago
      Do NOT believe
      DC Mike
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please. I want to know how the question was asked. Was it the typical survey crap where they ask, " Would you support XYZ if it meant you would receive a million dollars and it kept babies from crying?" Oh look everyone said "Yes" on our questionnaire!
        docb
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DC Mike
        Ah yes, the infamous push polling. With the knowledge that studies show that red light cameras reduce accidents, STD's, and Al Qaeda, do you support them?
      SpeedyRacer
      • 3 Years Ago
      I question the survey methodology. I have seen survey results all over the map depending upon who is asking. The biggest thing that bugs me about red light cameras is that they are all about making money -- not saving lives. They reduce the length of the yellow signal to entrap more drivers despite studies that clearly show making the yellow longer has the biggest effect on reducing accidents. They would just make longer yellows and skip the cameras if they really wanted to reduce accidents.
      Rafael Policastro
      • 3 Years Ago
      Whats the thing with Napoleon Dynamite on the picture?
      Soul Shinobi
      • 3 Years Ago
      Major cities is one thing, one completely different thing, than using them elsewhere.
      Bscar
      • 3 Years Ago
      the 3k people they talked to probably worked for the red light camera companies
      GO MUSTANG
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny how only the employees of America Traffic Solutions, the company who manages the red light cameras in Arizona, showed up to defend the program when the LA city council was making the decision to ax the program not too long ago.
      Ducman69
      • 3 Years Ago
      No one wants people running red lights, it is clearly dangerous behavior. However, governments implementing this have proven time and time again that it is for raising revenue and not for increasing traffic safety. Studies have shown that longer yellow lights reduce the instance of running lights, and yet governments have been busted via internal email communication regarding reducing the length of yellow lights to increase violations and thus generate revenue. In practice, the overall accident rate of monitored intersections has also not been found to be significantly decreased, and in fact rear end collisions were markedly higher. Many people are aware of how this is simply a new form of taxation, with intersections generating great revenue even from minor offenses most officers would overlook such as not coming to a complete stop at a right on red at a completely empty intersection in an open area w/ high visibility. And what we also know is that phrasing and sample areas on surveys can make all the difference as well with an off-the-cuff question, and the reason that polls and votes are often quite different is that conservative males are the least likely to respond to polls (either don't have a landline and use cell only or don't want to comment) but do vote.
        creamwobbly
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        I have no problem with them raising revenue so long as that is not the primary goal. The safety of each monitored intersection should meet certain minimum standards that are more strictly implemented than any unmonitored intersection. Things like a 2 second "dead spot" where every light is red, an extra-long yellow light, etc. The aim should be to reduce offences to zero; not to have it pay for itself. Public safety should be paid for by taxation. To have it paid for by offenders is unsustainable.
      heavyfootnyc
      • 3 Years Ago
      They’re dangerous. They cause accidents. Drivers slam on their breaks causing rear end collisions when they could have proceeded legally through the intersection. Their only asset is as a revenue stream. They're wrong. Get rid of them. Put a human being police officer in the intersection perpendicular to the light they are watching. Running red lights are wrong and violators should be penalized but these cameras are not solving the problem
        Zoom
        • 3 Years Ago
        @heavyfootnyc
        If slamming on brakes causes a rear-end collision it's not the fault of the person slamming on brakes but the tailgater behind for following too closely.
          Tau
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Zoom
          So a tractor trailer following at appropriate distance will be able to stop as fast as a subcompact with high quality brakes? Good to know.
          All Rights Reserved
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Zoom
          So TAU, you saying that the tractor trailer was planning to drive through the red light, possibly t-boning another person that had the green light!
          SamW
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Zoom
          Tau, That is what the extra distance is for, so people with worse brakes and reaction time can still stop in time and not cause a wreck.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Zoom
          [blocked]
        goober1424
        • 3 Years Ago
        @heavyfootnyc
        In addition to Zoom's comment, what would be the difference if there was a camera or cop at the intersection? If you are not going to blow a red with a camera there, you sure a hell are not going to do it with a cop there. Realistically, they don't cause accidents. They are simply another traffic control device. Drivers who choose to ignore those devices are the ones who cause accidents.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Zoom
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, you speak for EVERYONE! God is in the house, everyone!
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Zoom
          [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Zoom
          [blocked]
      Smiley
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am very much a fan of red light cameras because of how many pricks run them. I see 2..3..even 4 cars going through a red light routinely. This screws up the traffic flow for everyone else. My only reservation is precedent. Allowing red light cameras is a way for the ever greedy and controlling government to expand into speed cameras, which I do not agree with. We don't need to be like Europe and their absurd cost of living thanks to endless government controls. With that said, as long as speed cameras are not in our future I am 100% red light cameras.
        Mark S
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Smiley
        Smiley: Meet Nick. He's one of those guys that ran the red light. QED...
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mark S
          [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Smiley
        [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      John
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't believe one word of this. I live in the 4th biggest city and the red-light cameras came up for a vote last year. Guess what the outcome was - no red light cameras. After the cameras were turned off accident rates actually went down. The blame was put on the lack of rain but even so, there is no reason for these other than money.
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