Accidents Increase After Red-Light Cameras Installed
Residents Suggest Cameras 'Enhance' Revenue More Than Safety
Last Updated: 896 days ago
A recent study by the Citizens for Responsible Aurora Government is raising questions about the effectiveness of the citys red light cameras.City officials told 7NEWS the cameras are important tools that make driving safer, but political activist Jim Frye said the cameras do more to enhance revenue than safety.He released data showing that the number of crashes actually increased at three of the four intersections that currently have red light cameras.The intersection of Alameda Avenue and Abilene Street had two more crashes the year after the cameras were installed versus the year prior to installation, going from 37 to 39.There were 24 crashes at the Iliff Avenue/Blackhawk Street intersection the year before cameras were installed and 28 the year after.26 crashes were loggedAt the Mississippi Avenue/Potomac Street intersection, 26 crashes occurred before installation and 38 occurred after the cameras were up.Only at Mississippi Avenue and Chambers Street did the number of accidents drop, going from 82 the year before installation to 63 the year after.It was eye-opening, Frye said. So what does that leave you? It leaves you with a collection-generating machine. One that has generated $2.3 million since the first camera was installed in 2005.Division Chief Roger Cloyd, of the Aurora Police Department, said the cameras make a difference.I cant argue with the statistics provided by CRAG, Cloyd said. But what I think is significant is that we have seen a decrease in the severity of accidents.Cloyd released video showing several close calls and several crashes related to running a red light.My position is that were trying to make Aurora a safer place for people to drive and we use whatever technology and tools are available, Cloyd said.Proponents said they believe the cameras can help modify behavior.Frye has his doubts.I would say, A $75 ticket and I dont get any points (on my license.) Who cares? Is that going to change my behavior? Frye said.When asked if the red light camera tickets are changing behavior, Cloyd replied, It holds them accountable.One motorist told 7NEWS the cameras have changed his behavior.Don Nardo said, Im so paranoid about running through that intersection -- because I dont want a hit in the pocketbook -- that Im stopping on a yellow light and I could get rear-ended.When asked if he thought the cameras were more for enhanced safety or revenue, Nardo said, I think theyre for both.Frye told 7NEWS the city is installing 10 more cameras to generate more revenue.Theyre doing that because they refuse to lower the cost structure, he said. They havent made any significant cuts at city hall or at the police department.Frye said the group may try to put the camera issue on the ballot.Theyre essentially raising revenue without a vote of the people, he said.Cloyd said, People care about safety and accountability. If youre at an intersection and someone blasts through the red light, there is satisfaction in knowing that that driver will be held accountable.Frye said the new cameras will be of such high quality that they can be used to catch speeders or other minor offenders.Cloyd said the new cameras do not contain speed detecting equipment, but he added that if someone commits a robbery and police get a good description of a getaway car leaving at a high rate of speed, they can look at the video from the red light cameras to check if the car went through the intersection.If it did, we might be able to identify the car and the driver," Cloyd said.