City Officials and Police Chiefs Urge Lawmakers for Continued Use of Texas’ Red Light Camera Program

redlightcameraAUSTIN, TX – A new report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) shows 410 people died in Texas in red light running crashes from 2009-2013 – the second highest total in the country. This new data comes at the same time Texas mayors, police chiefs, children’s safety experts, trauma officials and traffic safety advocates are urging state legislators to reject attempts to ban or limit the use of red light cameras in Texas, a proven technology in reducing red light running and avoidable crashes.
The data from local law enforcement officials across Texas is indisputable: red light cameras successfully reduce red light running and crashes at the state’s most dangerous intersections and improve driver behavior.
Chiefs of police and city officials warn the abandonment of the life-saving camera program could increase collisions and put Texan residents at serious risk of death or injury. They are writing letters and making calls to members of the state legislature urging them to continue the red light camera program in Texas.
• Chief of Police Stephen L. Rhodes, City of Cedar Hill: “In 2007, Cedar Hill installed 5 red light cameras at the most dangerous intersections in our city based upon crashes and number of red light runners. We have experienced a steady decrease in the number of accidents and red light runners every year since the installation. Red light cameras save lives and money by changing driver behavior. I was a police motorcycle officer at one time in my career. Having to post up at an intersection, view an offense and then try to stop violators on congested intersections and
roadways is a police officer safety issue. Camera technology is a useful tool to protect officers and resources.”
According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, 3,377 people were killed on Texas roadways in 2013. That’s one person killed every 2 hours and 36 minutes.
“The people who are killed at the hands of reckless drivers every year are more than just statistics. They’re the children, siblings and parents of people whose loved ones are lost due to people who break the law,” said Traffic Safety Coalition National Co-Chair Paul Oberhauser, whose daughter Sarah was killed in a red light running crash in 2002. “If a law-enforcement tool is proven to prevent tragedies such as Sarah’s, why wouldn’t we use it? Although nothing will bring Sarah back, we encourage the use of any tool or technology that will keep families safe and prevent another senseless tragedy.”