Study author Barbara Orban from the University of South Florida claims traffic light cameras cause people who would otherwise run a yellow to do a quick stop and in doing so forces everybody else to do the same behind them. Orban told reporters from Canwest News that intersections with traffic light cameras actually saw an increase in rear-end collisions after the cameras were installed. "It all stems from people trying to avoid a ticket," she said.
However, the study also found that the numbers of severe right angle, or T-bone, collisions – the kind the cameras are meant to prevent – were actually lowered. In fact, data collected between 2001 and 2003 showed a 24.9% drop in right-angle collisions and a 39.4% drop in crashes that caused injuries.
Either way, as long as the cameras keep bringing in revenue you can bet they’ll be here to stay.