The red light camera program implemented by the City of Tallahassee was promoted as a way to increase safety at dangerous intersections. A recent national study concluded that the program was making intersections safer. Based on this premise, the City began installing red light cameras across the city. Currently there are 17 red light cameras installed at 6 intersections.
Others have argued that the program is just a way for the City to raise more revenue in tough economic times. The City has budgeted to raise approximately $500,000 through the red light camera program. This money goes into the City’s general fund.
Tallahassee Reports requested traffic accident data for the intersection of Killearn Center Blvd. and Capital Circle NE. This was the first intersection to have a red light camera installed. The data was provided by the Tallahassee Police Department and is tabulated in the chart below.
|Crashes w/red light violation||0||1|
Source: City of Tallahassee
During the six month period from August 1, 2010 to February 15th 2011, while the red light camera program was in operation, there were 5 traffic accidents. During the same period, one year earlier, when there was no red light camera, there 3 traffic accidents. No fatalities resulted from any of the accidents during either period.
The statistics show more traffic accidents during the six month period with the red light camera when compared to the pervious year when the intersection was not monitored by a red light camera. Also, there were more rear-end crashes when the red light camera program was in place.
During this period, the City of Tallahassee collected $168,744 in red light camera fines at the Killearn Center intersection. For the last month of available data, January, 2011, the City collected approximately $36,000 at this intersection. Based on this monthly data, the City will collect close to $450,000 in annual fines at this intersection.
Tallahassee Reports has learned, through discussions with City officials, that there is a provision to allow the removal of a red light camera if the program is not working as designed.