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Watchdog.org’s Bureau Chief Says Red Light Cameras Have Downsides

By Jessica Berardino
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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – National Stop On Red Week is Aug. 3 to 9.

According to the National Motorists Association, there is no coincidence that with the recent installation of red light cameras all over the country, there has been an overall increase in accidents at intersections.

In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 30,800 crashes as intersections. That number has increased since the addition of red light cameras. It is believed that one of the reasons may be drivers stopping abruptly causing rear end accidents.

Kenric Ward, the bureau chief for Watchdog.org’s Virginia Bureau, says that really the only thing the cameras have done is to take photos of those crashes. He says that if anything they’re making everything worse.

Ken Ward (Part 1)

stop light generic Watchdog.orgs Bureau Chief Says Red Light Cameras Have Downsides
NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

Ward says he believes that the Traffic Safety Coalition presents a persona that they are interested in safety, but they are supported and funded by the manufacturers of those red light cameras.

He says when people make right turns on red sometimes they don’t come to a complete stop. But with the cameras following the driver, people are coming to a full and complete stop causing rear-end collisions.

The camera’s incentive is to catch as many drivers as they can, then write as many tickets as they can. Virginia Beach was caught adjusting the yellow lights to be shorter to catch more people in their red light.

“When you do things like shortening yellow lights, one of two things is going to happen, either you’re going to get more red light runners and more ticket revenue or you’re going to get more rear-end crashes because people are having to stop more abruptly,” Ward said. “Neither outcome is good.”

Ken Ward (Part 2)

redlightsdl Watchdog.orgs Bureau Chief Says Red Light Cameras Have Downsides
NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

He continues to stress that everyone needs to pay attention in their neighborhoods and keep their communities honest. Ward adds these red light cameras are an expense and they will need to find a way to pay for them; he doesn’t want to see the public being responsible for the revenue by paying tickets.

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