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Study: Economic Savings Tied to Red-Light Cameras

One red-light camera was projected to save the city of Murrieta and its residents more than $1 million over a five-year period, according to a study released by American Traffic Solutions.

A recent study tied red-light cameras to economic savings.

One red-light camera installed at one Murrieta intersection was projected to save the city and its residents $230,647 in the first year and more than $1 million over a five-year period, according to a study commissioned by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based American Traffic Solutions, the company that installed and maintains the cameras at three Murrieta intersections.

ATS released its findings July 16. The study conducted by John Dunham and Associates calculated projected savings for 25,000 U.S. communities based on reductions in traffic collisions at intersections equipped with the cameras, ATS said in a news release.

"Every traffic collision exacts its own financial costs on families, vehicle owners and the community at large. Medical care, vehicle removal and repair, and the attention from police and other emergency response personnel are just a few of the measurable costs associated with traffic crashes," ATS stated.

"Red-light safety cameras help reduce vehicle collisions by changing driver behavior. As a result, injuries and fatalities decrease, along with the tax burden to communities for emergency services and other costs tied to every traffic collision. Red-light safety cameras also allow police departments to provide uninterrupted traffic enforcement without assigning an officer to watch the intersection. This enables a department to enhance its enforcement efforts without added costs, providing a cost-savings to the community."

ATS stated that a comprehensive set of data from nationally-recognized sources was used to calculate the savings by applying total crash costs over a victim’s expected lifetime against expected crash reductions from red-light safety cameras.

"It’s indisputable that there is a cost associated with automobile crashes," said James Tuton, president and CEO of ATS. "This study finally provides us with the measurable economic benefits a city can realize by using even one red-light safety camera to decrease crashes in their community. However, the greatest benefit any community can achieve through road safety camera programs is saving people’s lives."

Murrieta city officials have stated the number of traffic collisions have decreased at intersections where the cameras are installed.

Murrieta voters may get the chance to vote in November on whether the cameras should be removed—that is if the can stand up

A full PDF of ATS' projected five-year economic savings for Murrieta is attached to this article.

Other city-specific savings can be reviewed at http://www.atsol.com/economicbenefit.

Diana Serafin July 24, 2012 at 04:03 PM
This report is complied by ATS and they want to keep the Murrieta contract. It is a win win about money for ATS and the city, but a great loose to the citziens and businesses in the city. It is all about the money - not safety. By the way every video taken of accidents at an intersection is taken by a Red Light Camera. They did not stop the accidnet but were able to video tape it for propoganda films.
J T Lynch July 24, 2012 at 04:26 PM
There is a totally free alternative to the red light camera. I worked for a city with an intersection with multiple daily accidents. The simple solution, make the lights in both directions red for three to five seconds instead of one light turning green as one turns red. This three to five second inconvenience for drivers reduced collisions nearly seventy five percent. There are alternatives to more policing.
Cathy Neumann-Bearse July 24, 2012 at 04:59 PM
none - the money is spent paying for the camera.
Cathy Neumann-Bearse July 24, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Diana, I have yet to figure you out. Did you or someone you know get a ticket from one of these? I live near the interesection of Whitewood and Murrieta Hot Springs and since I moved in here so 15 years ago I have seen this light save many many lives!!
Cyclist July 24, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Diana, instead of going to the Council meetings and putting this initiative on the ballot, I have a much better way to get rid of the red light cameras. Get people to OBEY THE LAW and STOP at red lights. No more red light camera tickets would be issued and the program would go away because of lack of revenue. I have personally witnessed someone killed by someone running a red light. I have been in the car with my family and almost been hit at a Murrieta red light camera intersection. If someone is in too much of a hurry OR not paying attention and is going to jeopardize my life and my family's life by running a red light, then they should get a big fat ticket. I don't feel sorry for anyone who gets a red light camera ticket because they chose to break the law.
Jon Sims July 24, 2012 at 05:38 PM
What little profit the city makes is donated to charity
Diana Serafin July 24, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Cathy is on the Parks Commission so she willl defend the cameras without knowledge. Yes the city is making money and in bed with ATS the cameras company. No the city is NOT donating the money to charity. That was a deversion tactic. The city is 3million in debt and is using reserves to pay bill. Once the reserves are gone, we are bankrupt.
Diana Serafin July 24, 2012 at 06:57 PM
J T Lynch - totally agree and Loma Linda added one second to the yellow and tickets and accidnets were reduced by 90%. Cathy and Cyclist - guess you like money being taken from citizens to the PD and big brother watching your every move. I DID NOT get a ticket at a camera or anywhere else. I have had one ticket in my 45 years of driving and NO accidents that were my fault! By the way - when the camera flashed at one of our city council members for OBEYING the law, why did he not get a ticket? Oh yea he is a government employee and his information is not available from the DMV. I have been the victim of three t bones. I am lucky to be alive. NONE were my fault and only one at a light. By the way drunk drivers and distracted drivers will NOT be stopped by a red light camera.
B-Cat July 24, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Both sides are right to some degree. I think the fear is getting caught at one of these camera positions and its not your fault, but a ticket is issued, and its not cheap either. Anyone can get their picture taken if the person in front of you slows up and your stuck out there or at the last second a dog runs out into the st. your not going to run over it to avoid a ticket, but the cost of the ticket is so high some may even think about it or do it whereas before they never would have before. If i ever got a ticket from a peace officer I at least can say that some fair judgment was made before hand and assessment was made by a trained officer. Here we have a slam dunk with no recourse [just try to fight this in a court, good luck]. It seems the camera is not the problem, its those who might manipulate it for various reasons [if any] could be. P.S. My comment on this matter is mostly based on suspicion of what could be, not of what is. Its just human nature [or at least mine]. As I do not know anyone personally who has been making comments here on this post there is nothing personal, just what i have observed and to some point has made me somewhat reluctant to even voice an opinion. as from what i have been reading the messenger is attacked not the message. Thank you for taking the time to view my thoughts and mercy, please.
Harvey Mushman July 24, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Bill is correct. It is a huge money maker...
Scott Tucker July 24, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Does anyone question the validity of this study? I mean does anyone really think that ATS is going to release a negative study? Just seems to me that this is a case of the fox watching the henhouse.
kevin July 24, 2012 at 09:25 PM
From my understanding the camera's merely record the violation and a uniformed officer reviews the footage and issues the ticket. My brother received one of these tickets at the MHS/ Whitewood intersection and with the citation, it had a web site you could go to, to view the video. They sent the picture with the cite in the mail. When we looked at the video, it clearly showed he was in the wrong and deserving of the ticket. Why someone would be against these lights is beyond me as they are just a tool to make sure your driving the way your supposed even when peace officers are not present. "By the way - when the camera flashed at one of our city council members for OBEYING the law, why did he not get a ticket? Oh yea he is a government employee and his information is not available from the DMV." If he obeyed the law, why would he get a ticket? I've been flashed by the camera at the MHS/Whitewood intersection making a right turn. I stopped completely but it still flashed me. I never received a ticket. Must have been the officer reviewing the footage saw I had stopped and didn't deserve the citation.
Sherry July 24, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Sherry Why would anyone have a problem with the cameras? A. It does make people aware of their timing at a light. It has to slow the number of people running the light and that is what everyone wants. Its safer, it produces revenue from those who error and it does a darn good job! I think we should have more of them. Drivers have gotten more rude, careless, distracted, and lawless.
Ryan July 25, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Did the study cover whether or not there was an increase in rear-end collision from people slamming on the brakes at a yellow light? I believe I saw one study that said side impact collisions went down, but rear impact went up. However, property damage and physical injuries associated with rear impact were significantly less than that of side impact.
Omar July 25, 2012 at 08:17 AM
I see the study as flawed. Police Chief Baray said "At Murrieta Hot Springs and Whitewood, violations have dropped from 3,150 a month to 85 since 2005, when the cameras were installed." They may have been profitable in the beginning but they are no longer effective in creating revenue. The initiative claims the city is losing 20k a month in operating costs. They are however effective in reducing accidents. Since the city has said that most tickets received are from people out of town, why not set up dummy cameras at intersections and lengthen yellow lights?
Jeff K July 25, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Let's all remember that if the red light camera's are removed, and someone's family member is hurt or killed by someone running the light, to find Diana Serafin and ask her family to pay for the costs of a human life. Because to her and her Tea Party group, money is more important then a life.
Jeff K July 25, 2012 at 11:14 PM
No Cathy, she is a talking puppet for Bob Kowell of Murrieta and Rick Reiss of Temecula. and their Murrieta/Temecula Republican Assembly or better know as the local Tea Party. She is the front on Murrieta issues as Kowell has such a bad reputation. Now Diana does.
Jeff K July 25, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Ryan........don't you drive defensively, as you were taught in High School and not be speeding through traffic lights. Who is at fault for slamming into someone from behind??? The rear driver, not the driver breaking at the light.
Jeff K July 25, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Yes Diana....we want the Poiice Department to take money. Almost every store, every small market, every bank has a camera watching you Diana. You should just stay home in your little Conservative clubhouse and out of public life. BTW- Diana, you state things with no proof. Anyone can make up anything they want about anything. You preach fear....you preach hatred.....you are full of it. Wait...listen Diana...Bob is calling you, scurry along please.
Diana Serafin July 26, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Prove 1) it has reduced accidents at Whitwood and MHS. They won't relase the data even to several who have done FOI requests. 2) we are making a profit - remember Rick Gibbs stated a profit of $30 per ticket and he wanted to donate to charity.
Diana Serafin July 26, 2012 at 12:08 AM
All studies from the city to ATS do rear ends in the intersection. Reality is rear ends happen before the cross walk. Yes rear end are up and you can prove that by doing a FOI at one of 50 cities who have removed the cameras. They are very willing to give the information out. I even had police dept. from some of those cities willing to help me with any information I needed.
Diana Serafin July 26, 2012 at 12:09 AM
I see Jeff K works for the city too, just like Cathy and a few others.
Diana Serafin July 26, 2012 at 12:12 AM
J T Lynch - you are absolutely correct and you can lengthen the yellow by one second like Loma Linda did and it reduce tickets and accidents by 98%. Loma Linda is more than willing to give out the stats too.
Diana Serafin July 26, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Major - I enjoy reading what you write. Very intelligent and INFORMED as we as educated on the issues. I can tell you do NOT drink the kool aid. God Bless and keep up the fight for our freedoms.
LBV Collins July 26, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Hi Major. You and I don't always agree, but I agree with you on these two issues: the "Police Check Points" and the "Red Light Cameras." I think the check points are a violation of our constitutional rights (though, unfortunately, a majority of Supreme Court Justices ruled otherwise), and I think the cameras are a waste of our taxpayer's dollars... which I why I signed one of Serafin's petitions.
Jeff K July 26, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Wait?? Wait?? Jeff K works for the city??? Traffic Light camera's are spying on you? Drones are coming???? You have a screw loose Diana Serafin. You are simply messed up and paranoid! WMD's WMD's WMD'S......I would bet my home thats all you talked about a few years ago, maybe still today??? I know, Rick Gibbs has them stored at his home......they were moved there by Saddam.....NO WAIT!! They are at Hilary's assistant's home.....NO WAIT.....They are lying next to President Obama's real birth certificate. Anyone listening to this person needs to have their head examined, because something isn't right.
Jeff K July 26, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Major you are as flawed as your newest buddy Diana. The justice system is flawed?? Why because Supreme Court justice Roberts is actually using the Constitution to make rulings instead of his right wing ideology?? Your'e just like Serafin, using fear and scare tactics. Socialism and Fascism have nothing in common, yet they are your fear words.......but it is clear you know nothing about the meanings......except.....BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID, OLD WHITE AMERICANS. Drones are coming!! Socialism......owwwww. Unbalanced. I am sure that if drones are flying over, Serafin and Major will pull out their AR-15's or their grenade launchers and shoot them down....shaking my head.
Major July 26, 2012 at 03:04 AM
For Jeff; You are an idiot, a Dreg and not worth much thought.
Diane July 26, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Sherry - You should visit Australia then. They have cameras on all of the freeways for speeding. Everyone is afraid to drive over the speed limit, even to pass. The cameras are situated so that they KNOW if you got to the next camera faster than you should have. Picture a bunch of robots. You probably also think Bloomberg's soda ban is a good idea too!
Jim July 26, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Camera sellers can cite all the bought-and-paid-for-studies they want, but I am more inclined to believe the candid opinions of police chiefs and city managers in cities that have had hands-on experience with cameras. This one, from a California city that had cameras for six years, is typical: "Our research in Gardena has revealed there is no significant traffic safety impact as a result of the use of the red light cameras. At almost every intersection where we have cameras, collisions have remained the same, decreased very slightly, or increased depending on the intersection you examine. When combining the statistics of all the intersections, the overall consensus is that there is not a noticeable safety enhancement to the public." Police Chief Edward Medrano, in report prepared for Feb. 9, 2010 council meeting. At a site online (highwayrobbery daht net) there are similar quotes from nine other California localities having a combined 55 years of experience with the cameras. While you are at that site - which is free - read about Snitch Tickets.

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