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Some measures for sustaining red-light camera programs and their negative impacts


  • Yang, Qiang
  • Han, Lee D.
  • Cherry, Christopher R.


Automated enforcement red-light cameras (RLC) have been widely adopted by municipalities around the world as a measure of curbing red-light running (RLR) at signalized intersections and reducing the cost of law enforcement. While a consensus has not yet been reached about whether RLC in general can benefit intersection safety by reducing RLR and crashes, recent debates revolve around using RLC as a revenue generator. Some of the political backlash of RLC is the perception that they are installed primarily to fulfill revenue guarantees and sustain the RLC program. Some municipalities have been charged with changing the signal phasing to trap more red-light runners and increase the revenue from RLC programs. This paper focuses on a number of engineering strategies, mainly related to signal timing that may be used by municipalities to achieve their financial goals. The negative impacts of implementing these measures on the safety and efficiency of intersection operations and public support on RLC programs are also discussed. These strategies are also revealed to increase transparency of the divergent motivations of RLC vendors, municipalities, policy makers and safety advocates.

Suggested Citation

  • Yang, Qiang & Han, Lee D. & Cherry, Christopher R., 2013. "Some measures for sustaining red-light camera programs and their negative impacts," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 192-198.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:29:y:2013:i:c:p:192-198
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2013.06.006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Burkey, Mark L. & Obeng, Kofi, 2004. "A detailed investigation of crash risk reduction resulting from red light cameras in small urban areas," MPRA Paper 36261, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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