You may have been happy to hear that the red light cameras at Kansas City intersections had been deactivated. However, it seems lawmakers may be right about the camera’s ability to reduce illegal activity—and they may have protected you from suffering a red light crash.

Red-Light Running Increases 50 Percent While Cameras Are Turned Off

While police were suspended from enforcing any violations caught on camera since last November, the cameras have remained turned on, and still flash whenever a driver runs a red light. The camera’s company have compiled the data, and show over 2,000 more violations per month—about a 50 percent increase in illegal red-light running.

So why is this increase a troubling development for Kansas City drivers?

  • Lack of accountability. Police believe that since drivers know that the red light camera program has been suspended, they are more likely to perform illegal maneuvers at red lights. Not only are they unconcerned about getting a ticket, they are acting more reckless with regard to the traffic around them.
  • Dangerous intersections. While there are 17 intersections in the city with active cameras, police still regularly patrol four intersections that have the highest number of accidents. These include Gregory Boulevard and Bruce R. Watkins Drive, 59th Street and Watkins Drive, North Oak Trafficway and Vivion Road, and Missouri 152 and North Flintlock Road.
  • Sudden increase. Since the cameras were installed in 2009, the number of red-light running incidents has decreased every year—until this year. The numbers fell steadily from 11,604 in December 2009 to 5,239 in December 2012, but rose to 7,775 last December—just one month after the enforcement was suspended.

While many drivers disagree with the practice of speed cameras at major intersections, it seems hard to deny that the program is working—at least, while it’s being enforced. Until the issue is settled, all drivers should act as if they will be ticketed for a violation at a red light, especially at the hazardous intersections above.

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