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Do Red Light Cameras Make Intersections More Dangerous?

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The City says no, that intersections with red light cameras are not more dangerous with them, pointing out that red light runner crashes are down. That may be true, but an investigative report by CBS2 finds that accidents are up at most of the red-light camera intersections if you include crashes caused by people stopping earlier than expected to avoid running a red light.

Based on data six months before and after cameras was installed, 20 intersections experienced an increase in crashes, eight intersections saw fewer crashes and three held at the same amount (see a map).

So the big question for investigative reporter David Goldstein, are these just cash cows for the city? In 2008, the city made $4 million from red light camera tickets. And to boot, "Montclaire, Upland, El Monte and Fullerton all discontinued red-light cameras in part because of accidents," he says. "Huntington Beach broke its contract before it even officially began."

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