Reason interviews Jay Beeber, who persuaded the Los Angeles civilian police commission to vote unanimously against LA’s red-light cameras. A snippet:
Q: One piece of information you’ve provided is that red-light cameras actually increase the number of accidents. How is that?
A: Red-light cameras have been shown in a number of cases to increase rear-end collisions. When a driver approaches an intersection where there is a red light camera, they may react in an unusual way. They may slam on their brakes, for example. Then the argument is, well, the person behind shouldn’t have been following them so closely. But on the other hand, if somebody slams on their breaks in front of you, how much of that is your fault?
The other thing that’s dangerous about them from an accident standpoint is that some people will try to speed through the intersection because they’re trying not to get that ticket, as opposed to trying to drive safely.