New poll says red light cameras are effective

Love ’em or hate ’em, more than half of Washington drivers say red light cameras do change drivers’ behavior.

According to a recent poll from PEMCO Insurance, 55 percent of drivers say the cameras make them think twice before pushing the limits of yellow lights.

“It’s clear that drivers are lining up on difference sides of the issue,” said Jon Osterberg, PEMCO spokesperson. “But either way, cameras do deter drivers from running red lights, according to this latest poll.”

The poll shows 64 percent of drivers think that traffic cameras are at least somewhat effective in reducing traffic violations. Twenty percent question the cameras’ effectiveness, and 10 percent think red light cameras aren’t effective at all.

Thirty-one percent of those polled support more cameras, while another 31 percent said the number of existing cameras is “about right.” And 29 percent said fewer or no cameras should be installed.

The jury is out on whether red light cameras actually improve safety., a local group opposed to red light cameras, cites several studies that question their effectiveness.

Lynnwood has red light cameras at eight intersections. The rest of the cameras you see mounted above signals are to monitor traffic flow and change signal timing as needed.

  1. That`s swell, but would the City of Lynnwood please release the statistics that show it the lights reduce accidents – that is what they supposedly are there for!

  2. If they deture red light runners how come the number of tickets issued increases every year? If the cameras were working we would be seeing fewer tickets.

  3. First, the question is not merely whether they are effective, but whether it's okay to use them. There are many effective things that we don't let government do because we'd rather be a free society than a safe and dismal one.

    Second, your poll measured expectations, not effectiveness. There are real studies about effectiveness. Overall they're inconclusive or show the cameras are ineffective in improving safety. But, they all show conclusively that cameras raise revenue.

    But again, effective or not, if the people say lights out on cameras then it's lights out on cameras. Local officials already know full well that referendum upon referendum has voted down red light cameras. Their zeal for erecting them anyway proves that they have no respect for the sovereignty of the public that put them in office.

    In Aventura, FL for example the city commissioners, mayor, police chief, and city manager disdain not only public opinion but also the rule of law. In that city the cameras have stayed up even though a judge declared the entire scheme illegal. They argue that while the cameras are illegal the court did not specifically enjoin them from breaking the law.

    Oh, of course. Why should lawmakers follow the law unless specifically invited?

  4. Then why don't we do something about the cameras?

    Each time a story or blog post comes out about the cameras comment after comment is written about how people hate them and how people avoid the city because of them. A poster here comments that their friends won't come to visit them partially due to the cameras. I could go on and on with the examples.

    So if we (the citizens of Lynnwood) truly don't want the cameras then why don't we do something about it? They did in Mukilteo. And last time I checked we are still in charge of the city. Just because we elect a mayor and city counsel does not mean that we no longer run the show. Granted it may take time and work to make the wishes of the majority of us known but isn't that part of what the process is all about?

    It should be obvious that the government (local, state & federal) will keep grabbing all that they can, it will never be enough, and the only way to stop them is to stand up and and tell them, “enough”. It doesn't matter if it is regarding the cameras or some other issue. If they won't do what we want we have the right (or I would argue, duty) to tell them to stop it.

    This is the only way the cameras will ever go away. The city is already so drunk on red light camera money that nothing is going to happen unless we force it.

    So what do you all say? If Mukilteo can do it so can we.

  5. I am one of those who know that the cameras change driving behavior, because they have changed mine. I used to be a pretty selfish driver assuming I was the best driver on the road. Though I was opposed to the cameras to begin with they caused me to pay more attention to my driving. Over time I began to notice that I was following the speed limit and stopping at all red lights. I now find driving to be much less stressful. Per haps this comes with age but I really noticed it when the cameras arrived.

  6. I think that the squeaky wheel gets the media coverage and that more people than you think support the cameras- they just aren’t as vocal as those that are against them. This poll shows that too.

  7. over past year, I paid over $1,500 in fees to City of Lynnwood at the intersection of 36th & 196th St, at the right turn at Kinko & 44th & 200th. It ‘s rediculous. I am thinking of moving out. None of my neighbors or friends like the ideas of installing too many cameras. You re driving out business citizens….

  8. Whos that idiot idea of installing too many of cameras in the city to get more money from citizens to get $$$ for city??? City wants to expand n has 20 years big plan. How will you draw shoppers & visitors & spenders for good economic in City if your idea is too narrow of thinking of collecting red light fees–bizzard. Be big thinkers Lynnwood City!!! have good schools, friendly city, helpfull city hall helpers, safe area…then more businesses and higher earnings will move in, city will get more taxes per annum instead.

  9. I found very disturbing the study that a company from Australia (if I remember correctly) installs camera for cities in attempt to collect/drive revenues up (by fees to citizens) for city offices & they ( city) actually calculate on the return on investment of these cameras. It’s disgusting plan. It’s stupidity idea of leaders. I will be the first to vote down cameras at traffic lights. My friends wont’ visit city of lynnwood from Canada to shop, from East and South. Some of my friends are moving out…they hate it.

  10. So which camera installation company do you work for? Your identical comments are seen all over the internet. You’re not fooling anyone and when this class action lawsuit is finished the City of Lynnwood and several others in Washington are going to be paying the citizens back thousands of dollars to reimburse them for not having the will to let the police perform the job they were hired for. With this logic I’m sure the mayor (where’s next years budget? Waiting until just before the end of the year to resign before it is legally required to be sent to the council?) When Lynnwood and all the other cities are forced to reimburse wrongfully cited drivers they’re going to come looking for you to help defray the costs since you painted such a rosy revenue picture for them initially.

  11. Does anyone know if a person can legally be forced to identify the driver of a vehicle that has been cited by a speed or red light camera?

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