Washington DC, USA 2005 RLC Report

Official Title: D.C. Red-Light Cameras Fail to Reduce Accidents

Authors: Del Quentin Wilber and Derek Willis

This is a 2005 report and article by the Washington Post on red-light cameras for the City of Washington DC, USA that compares the before and after crash statistics of the 37 oldest RLC intersections in that city. The analysis uses more than 12 to 36 months of pre-RLC crash data compared to 36 to 60 months of post-RLC data. The statistics used in this analysis are from the Washington DC Police Department which does not specify their Distance-From-Intersection inclusion zone for crashes. There are no data or conclusions in this report that suggest a reduction or increase in fatalities due to RLCs. The results show that crashes at RLC-equipped intersections have increased 107% and "The increase is the same or worse than at traffic signals without the devices." Also, "The cameras do not appear to be making any difference in preventing injuries or collisions.", as evidenced by the 81% increase in injury accidents. The Washington DC Department of Transportation did not disagree with this analysis and offers no explanation for the trends shown.

view the article (external link)
Download a copy of this report and a related article below (191k)

This is a brief three page article, but the data and statistical analysis are verifiable, the selection of 37 RLC intersections is very large for this kind of report. Using at least 12 months of before-RLC data is adequate and 36-60 months of after-RLC data is much more than most studies use, increasing the usefulness of this report. The report was reviewed by three separate independent experts who all agreed with conclusions. The conclusions are supported by the data supplied.

There was also a 5-part series of articles by the Weekly Standard three years before that also comes to the same conclusions about Washington DC's RLC program. These articles are also available together in the download copy of the Washington Post article above.

St Pete Driver,
Dec 23, 2012, 6:10 AM