Traffic light enforcement cameras increase car crashes rather than protect motorists, according to a report from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health, in the USA.
Its researchers say that the cameras provoke motorists into making abrupt stops, which causes more crashes.
Florida is considering introducing these cameras across the state, but study lead author, Barbara Langland-Orban warned that the devices may be particularly dangerous there.
“If used in Florida, red light cameras could potentially create even worse outcomes due to the state’s high percentage of elderly who are more likely to be injured or killed when a crash occurs,” she said.
Instead, the report recommends engineering improvements that address signal visibility, timings, wet roads and traffic flow problems, as way to prevent red light running.
The study added that traffic fatalities caused by red-light running account for less than 4% of Florida’s yearly traffic deaths, while road injury rates have dropped 33% in nine years, without widespread camera use.