A study of those red-light cameras in the city of Los Angeles found that at most intersections where they were examined accidents had increased six months after they were installed compared to the previous six months.
The cameras were installed with the promise of increasing safety by encouraging drivers not to run red lights (or face $400 tickets). But an investigation by CBS2/KCAL9 reporter David Goldstein found that the cameras' presence did little to foster safety.
In fact, what happens at many intersections is that drivers react to the flash of the camera by slamming on their brakes, causing them to get rear-ended. Sherman Ellison, an attorney specializing in traffic tickets, told Goldstein the cameras are "Purely a revenue generating device."
Goldstein writes that the Los Angeles Police Department was defensive about the investigation and charged CBS2/KCAL9 $500 to access public records on red light cameras. Those records, he said, showed the opposite of what the department claims:
Accidents increased post-camera at twenty of 32 intersections, including Manchester Avenue and Figueroa Street, Westwood Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard, and Rodeo Road and La Brea Avenue, where collisions actually tripled or greater.
Spotted at LAObserved.