EBR releases red light camera statistics

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Close calls and direct collisions are showcased in a video released by East Baton Rouge Parish and the company it hired to install traffic cameras in intersections throughout the area.

Data compiled by the Baton Rouge Traffic Engineering Department reveals that since most of those cameras have been installed over the past five years, red light violations and accidents in the intersections with cameras are down.

"It did seem to suggest, in summary, that there have been a reduction in violations in most of the intersections where the red light cameras are located as well as a reduction in accidents or collisions that took place in those intersections," said Baton Rouge Assistant Chief Administrative Officer John Price.

The East Baton Rouge Metro Council extended its current contract with American Traffic Solutions, the maker of the cameras, until the end of 2013 and a spokesman for the company believes the council will interpret the figures as making a positive impact.

"The hope is by reducing the number of red light running violations you can reduce the number of red light related collisions and in Baton Rouge that's exactly what we've seen happen," said ATS spokesman Charles Territo.

The figures also showed an increase in red light violations at some intersections like Burbank Drive and Nicholson Drive where the violation rate jumped 136 percent between 2008 and 2012. However Price and those who have reviewed the data say there are many variables that can come into play.

"You've got road construction that goes on and slows traffic down and reduces violations or accidents the next year if the construction is completed speeds increase and you may have more," said Price.

Those variables, according to Price, can affect numbers collected from various intersections but what can't be misinterpreted says Price, is the impact the cameras have made.

"Of all the people who ended up getting a red light running ticket about 86 to 88 percent do not get a second ticket which we believe is indicative of the change in driver behavior that we wanted when we started the program," added Price.

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