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Louisiana residents support traffic enforcement cameras

Redflex Traffic Systems : 31 August, 2009  (Technical Article)
Accident reduction and improved behaviour of drivers cited as the main reason for local support in Louisiana for the use of traffic light cameras at junctions
According to the results of a new poll released this week, the vast majority of Louisiana residents support the use of photo traffic enforcement to monitor and discourage speed and red light running. The majority of residents also believe the technology brings positive improvement to driver behavior while reducing traffic accidents and fatalities, the poll shows. The poll surveyed 600 Louisiana voters and was conducted last month by Southern Media & Opinion Research, Inc. Key findings are as follows:

* Nearly 72 percent believe the legislature should allow the use of traffic cameras.

* More than 70 percent said they support the use of video cameras to monitor red light running and feel safer with the red light cameras in place.

* Nearly 66 percent said they feel safer with the use of video cameras to monitor speed. In fact, a strong majority of those surveyed said they believe the cameras reduce the number of people who speed and run red lights.

* A nearly unanimous 98 percent of voters agreed that red light running poses a danger to drivers, their passengers and people in other vehicles while 96 percent consider speeding to present a strong level of danger to themselves and others.

* In terms of preventing red light running, more than 70 percent believe cameras placed at red light intersections reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities.

Also according to the poll, the majority of Louisiana residents believe such programs save lives and "make drivers pay more attention to their own driving behavior." Only 16 percent said they don't like cameras because they consider them an invasion of privacy.

"The poll results demonstrate that most people understand the dangers of speeding and running red lights," said Karen Finley, president and CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems. "Residents of Louisiana understand that photo enforcement safety programs reduce collisions and increase safety."

"Since implementing the SafeLight/SafeSpeed programs, Lafayette Consolidated Government has seen a 68 percent reduction in total crashes within 100 feet of intersections where red light running cameras have been implemented," said City Parish President Joey Durel, for Lafayette, La. "This sharp decline in traffic crashes not only reinforces the effectiveness of the program but also reflects dangerous driver behavior is changing in a very positive way." The Lafayette Consolidated Government currently monitors 18 approaches where red light running and speeds are monitored, and also has two mobile vehicles to monitor speeds in neighborhoods and other roadways.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System, in 2005 alone, nearly 9,200 people died and approximately one million people were injured in intersection-related crashes. A 2005 NHTSA data report cited red light running as the cause of an estimated 805 fatalities. NHTSA reports also concluded that speeding is a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes, with an estimated 13,000 Americans dying every year. The economic cost to society of speeding-related crashes is estimated by NHTSA to be $40.4 billion per year - $76,865 per minute or $1,281 per second.

Redflex engaged Southern Media & Opinion Research to conduct this independent poll. Interviews were completed by telephone and the respondent sample was drawn at random from a listing of telephone numbers for voter households in Louisiana. Poll results had a margin of error of 4.0 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.
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