Survey says U.S. drivers want red light cameras

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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