Do Red Light Cameras Make Intersections Safer?

They don't, according an audit

For a decade, cameras have popped up at intersections all over Los Angeles. They take a snap of any speeding driver who dared to run a red light.

The cameras were supposed to force people to slow down and make intersections safer, right?

Apparently, that's not the case.

According to a new audit by the Los Angeles city controller, red-light cameras haven't improved public safety at key intersections across the city.

On Wednesday, City Controller Wendy Greuel released details about the audit, which says that of the city's 32 red-light cameras, some are not installed at the most dangerous intersections.

Auditors found that some of the most accident-prone corners were passed over, perhaps for political reasons like ensuring that at least one camera system was placed in each of the 15 City Council districts, the LA Times reported.

And at intersections which have the cameras, Greuel's report says only half of those had fewer accidents after the cameras were installed.  The audit found that despite issuing about 45,000 citations last year, the cameras did not generate revenue. Instead, operating the cameras cost the city about $1 million.

LAPD officials, who have insisted that the cameras have improved safety and reduced fatalities at those intersections, were not immediately available for comment, the L.A. Times reported.

The audit comes as city officials hope to expand the program, which cost $2.6 million over the past two years.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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