Many Los Angeles auto collisions and serious injuries occur in intersection accidents, usually caused by one party running a red light. Without eye-witness accounts, it is often very hard to figure out which party ran the red light. According to the Los Angeles Times, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is recommending that Los Angeles continue the controversial red-light camera program.
This program, in an attempt to reduce Los Angeles red light collisions and injuries, as well as raise money for the City, has lost the City of Los Angeles 2.5 million dollars in the last two years. Chief Beck’s justification for the program is that “the number of citations for red-light violations has quadrupled from 14,000 to 59,000 annually since the program began in 2007.” In addition, according to Beck, “from 2004 to 2009, red-light traffic collisions have declined 63%. There were five red-light fatalities from 2004 to 2006 and none since the program began.” The argument is that Los Angeles drivers are aware of the program and, in turn, do not run as many red lights. This is key to keeping Los Angeles drivers safe, as, according to Beck, “a top National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official testified before Congress last June that about 1,000 people die annually in red-light traffic collisions.”
However, according to the Los Angeles Times, “a 2008 Times investigation found that some cities, including Los Angeles, get most of their photo enforcement money from citing slower, rolling stop right turns, which many experts say cause fewer and less serious accidents.” If the cameras are mostly citing people for “rolling stop right turns,” and the program is not making money, then questions need to be asked about the viability of the program as a whole.