In Sarasota, officials recently released statistics showing that red light cameras have helped to reduce serious car crashes. According to the report, after red light cameras were installed, Sarasota police reported that fatal intersection accidents were reduced. However, new discoveries reveal that police were withholding some of the statistics.
According to 10 Investigates, the Sarasota Police Department conducted research but never released the information that red light cameras were contributing to more rear-end accidents. While it is true that the red light cameras helped reduce the fatal number of crashes, it is now a fact that they also are likely responsible for the spike in rear-end collisions.
Drivers often stop abruptly at yellow lights that are controlled by cameras. What’s the reason? They don’t want to get a ticket from running the red light. When this happens, the driver in the rear may still be assuming the forward driver is proceeding through the intersection. While rear-end accidents at monitored intersections should have been reported, they weren’t because the Sarasota police were only counting intersection accidents within 25 feet of the stop bar.
When 10 Investigates looked into the matter after receiving numerous reports by accident victims, they found that Sarasota police did track collisions up to a 100 foot radius of the controlled intersection. The research indicates collisions between 25 and 50 feet from the intersection actually increased by 68 percent. Because of this news, police only released the 25 foot accident data and never reported the additional information to the city leaders or the media.
Police stated that they have always used the 25 foot radius when determining what is and isn’t an intersection crash. However, 10 Investigates revealed that other counties use 100 foot radius crash data when calculating intersection accidents.