Chicago’s red light camera system makes some intersections more dangerous instead of making them safer, according to the results of a study commissioned by the Chicago Tribune.
In the only scientific study to date analyzing the nation’s largest network of 350 red light cameras,the Tribune found intersections with cameras snapping photos and ticketing drivers as they pass through red lights saw a 22 percent increase in rear-end crashes resulting in injuries.
While Mayor Rahm Emanuel has claimed the cameras are to thank for a 47 percent decrease in “T-Bone” right-angle crashes, the Tribune’s study showed a much different statistic of a mere 15 percent reduction.
The red light camera program has garnered the city nearly $600 million since 2003.
“You are generating revenue under the guise of fake safety,” said Mike Brockway, writer of the Chicago-driving-centric blog The Expired Meter.
Dominique Lord, an associate professor at Texas A&M University's Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, headed the Tribune's study.
"The biggest takeaway is that overall (the program) seems to have had little effect," Lord told the Tribune.