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Rochester Extends Right Light Camera Program [PHOTO: Renee Stetzer]
Posted by: Renee Stetzer, pedestrian safety advocate and blogger at RocVille.com

Last night the City Council approved the extension of Rochester’s red light camera program until December 2019. The 6 to 3 vote was originally scheduled for September, but postponed when the results of the red light camera study were not yet available. The official report was released last week…

This table summarizes the overall reduction in collisions and violations after red light cameras were installed. [SOURCE: City of Rochester Red Light Camera Effectiveness Evaluation, 2014]
The study, which compared data before and after cameras were installed, concluded that the presence of cameras is improving safety:

  • Collisions with injuries decreased 30%
  • Total number of collisions decreased 26%
  • Right-angle collisions decreased 36%
  • Rear-end collisions decreased 18%
  • Collisions caused by disregard of traffic signals decreased 61%

The number of collisions decreased at 22 intersections with cameras, and increased at 8 intersections. Two intersections showed no change.  City engineer, Jim McIntosh, said the city will look into the cause of increased crashes at those 8 intersections.

The number of violations decreased 30% in the three months after the cameras were installed.

Almost 900 signatures were submitted to oppose the extension of the program. Many oppose the program because they feel the main purpose is to generate revenue for the city and it unfairly targets those in poorer neighborhoods.

Much of the opposition is also due to tickets issued when making authorized right turns during red lights. The City Council made an amendment that tickets will not be enforceable if a driver stops beyond the intersection line unless it is clear that it is a blatant violation. Tickets are not automatically issued just because the camera snaps a photo. According to the City of Rochester, “Evidence captured by the Red Light Cameras is reviewed three times and approved by the Rochester Police Department before a Notice of Liability is delivered in the mail to the registered owner of the vehicle.”

There is no silver bullet for making our streets safer for all who use them. But many cities, including Rochester, are testing initiatives like red light camera programs that work together with other measures to help reduce the number of traffic accidents on city streets.

You can read the full report here:  Red Light Camera Effectiveness Evaluation

Leave a comment below or join the conversation here:
Do Red Light Cameras Make Rochester Streets Safer?

— 3 Comments —

  1. Some good responses on reddit.com/r/rochester:

    1) There is no comparison to any other intersections in the city. AKA, no control. Maybe accidents in intersections are down by 20% in the city in general (or even up and it’s doing a TON by having the Red Light Cameras).

    2) They do not compare traffic flow before and after. This is the most egregious oversight in the “study”. We have no idea whether more or less traffic went through the intersection, so how do we have any idea whether the number of accidents changing means anything?

    3) In 8 intersections, accidents actually increased. However, there is no proposal or plan to stop using the cameras in those intersections. Seems strange since the goal of Red Light Cameras is “safety”.

    4) They compared collisions in January, February and March to collisions in April, May and June? Am I the only person here who can see that SNOW might have an impact on this study? Of course accidents will go down compared to winter … the roads are no longer slippery!

  2. Sure, this would be great, however, pelope need to obey the laws of the road as a motor vehicle.This means riding on the correct side of the road, going with the flow of traffic, ESPECIALLY on one-way streets, NOT against it. Not having earphones or headphones on listening to music. Wearing appropriate clothing and lighting their bicycles for evening rides.Until cyclists follow the rules, they won’t be respected on the roads, even if they have a designated bike lane.

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