Transportation

Crashes Are Up After Red Light Cameras Are Removed

Data included in new report on HPD staffing.

Sign reads photo enforcedWhen red light cameras were active, this sign warned drivers “photo is enforced.”

Houston Police say crashes have risen sharply at intersections where the city used to have red light cameras. The red light cameras were removed from 50 intersections after voters decided in November 2010 they didn’t want the city to use them anymore.

New crash data was part of an HPD report on staffing that was presented to the City Council Public Safety Committee.

Assistant Police Chief Tim Oettmeier says they compared the number of crashes between 2006 and 2010 and from 2010 to 2014. Oettmeier says the number of crashes at those intersections more than doubled.

He says the data did not take into account any increases in traffic volume.

“We saw increases of anywhere from 80% to 300% increased volume of crashes since the cameras were turned off.  But as I’ve indicated we’re not attributing that to anything specifically.”

The report also looked at HPD staffing numbers.

Oettmeier says the department right now has a sufficient number of officers, but there’s clearly an erosion. He wants Council members to act before things get worse.

“Because the crashes are up, yes, there is an issue of safety. And all of that again was designed to illustrate that if you don’t have sufficient personnel, things like this are going to happen.”  

Click here for a link to the full HPD report.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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