One police chief offers the rather novel argument that statistics aren’t that important—that cameras enhance safety even when they increase accidents. Oh, and the purpose of red light cameras isn’t to raise revenue. No, no, no.
“If improved safety is the goal of red-light cameras, then it is a mission largely unaccomplished for the first crop of area suburbs that raced to install the devices after they became legal in 2006, according to state data.
“Accidents rose — in some cases, significantly — at half the 14 suburban intersections outfitted with traffic cameras by the end of 2007, the data show. The number of crashes fell at just five of those intersections after cameras went in, while two showed little change.
“At Mannheim and St. Charles roads in Bellwood, collisions rose from 17 the year before cameras appeared to 24 the year after. Melrose Park put a camera at 1st and North avenues, near the now-closed Kiddieland Amusement Park, and crashes increased from 56 the year before installation to 73 the year after.”
Read more at Chicago Tribune.