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Study: Accident Statistics Mixed at Red Light Cam Intersections

Depending on accident type, data shows swings in either direction

A study released this week by the state Department of Transportation shows mixed results for intersections outfitted with red light enforcement cameras.

The study, mandated under the law that has temporarily allowed the use of the controversial cameras, looked at two different types of accidents: right angle crashes and same direction crashes. Colloquially, right angle crashes are known as "t-bone" crashes and same direction crashes are known as "rear end" crashes.

Red light cameras, such as the ones set up at three major intersections in Brick, are meant to reduce right angle crashes, but have been said to slightly to moderately increase same direction crashes.

The study showed significant a decrease in crashes at two intersections, both in Newark, where there were two full years of data. Specifically, there was a 57 percent overall decrease at those two intersections – an 86 percent reduction in right angle crashes and a 42 percent reduction in same direction crashes.

But the data showed that in the wider study of all the state's red light camera intersections with one-year data, the total number of accidents was up slightly, from 577 in the year before the cameras were installed to 582 the first year.

At the 24 specific intersections studied, right-angle crashes decreased by 15 percent, but same direction crashes increased to the tune of 20 percent during the first year cameras were installed.

The number of summonses being generated by red light cameras went down over time, the study said. Month-to-month citations decreased by 50 percent at intersections studied in the wider, one-year sample. At the small, two intersection sample of two-year data, the number of citations generated between the first month and month 24 were down a staggering 85 percent.

Brick Township has three intersections – Route 70 and Chambers Bridge Road; Route 70 and Brick Boulevard; and Brick Boulevard and Hooper Avenue – with cameras installed.

A Brick-specific study released in March 2012 showed that the number of right-angle crashes was cut in half in 2011 compared with 2010. The number of same direction accidents remained virtually flat, rising from 13 to 14.

About 70 percent of the summonses generated by the Brick cameras were issued to non-residents, the data showed.

john November 30, 2012 at 03:34 AM
red light camera is the best idea. Helps generate money for the state,cut back on the major crashes and injuries and showed us that no matter what safety thing you put out there...the typical idiots will still be on the road and will cry about the cameras
proudnot2bliberal November 30, 2012 at 09:53 AM
OK folks the realproblem is people do no tknow how to drive anymore especially here in NJ (as proof by highest insurance raets & ACCIDENT rates in the country) If you read the drivers manual you studied when you took the drivers test "a Yellow light menas stop if you can safely" it does not mean hit the gas to speed thru 5 seconds after it changes red. as for the rear-end collisons that goes back to tailgating or following too close another basic driving rule. Also you are supposed to come to a atop before you make a right on red not wizz thru at 20 mph. This is why NJ drivers (anyone from staen island to just the other side of philly) are ticketed at a much higher rate when they go out of state.
Icdedppl November 30, 2012 at 10:06 AM
I find it interesting that the study shows an increase in rear enders, an some folks here state they slam their brakes on. Hmmmmm ??? Avoid a $85 ticket for $4000 of damage to your car. Hmmmm ??? I'm sure the insurance agents love these cameras.Hmmm ???
sad but true November 30, 2012 at 01:45 PM
For some... with so many people unemployed, its a quick settlement for them...
Chief Wahoo November 30, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Don't forget the sales tax on all those damaged cars at the body shop. FOLLOW the money !!!!! Oh the rabbit hole goes very deep.

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