Safe Light Sugar Land data shows drastic accident reduction

Since the installation of Sugar Land’s current red light cameras at current locations, accidents have decreased more than 58 percent at targeted intersections.The analysis charts accident data back to 2009, the year that the last of the current cameras were installed.

Known as Safe Light Sugar Land, the program is intended to improve the safety of high-volume intersections in the City.  Red light cameras in Sugar Land encourage motorists to stop at red lights, which save lives.

“Our research into this program was intended to find ways to make Sugar Land safer but also improve mobility,” said Assistant City Manager Steve Griffith. “Our Safe Light Sugar Land program has done just that.  By reducing accidents, we’re saving lives.  Red light cameras also allow police officers to focus on other important efforts, such as special teams that focus on burglaries and other areas of emphasis.”

In 2011 and 2012, cameras were removed at the following intersections after compliance levels improved by almost 60 percent:

• U.S. Highway 59 at Sugar Lakes Boulevard
• Two locations at U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 6

Red light cameras continue to be used as a tool to enhance safety at West Airport Boulevard and Eldridge Road, Lexington Boulevard and State Highway 6 and two locations at U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 6.

State law requires drivers to completely stop at intersections with red lights.  This means vehicles must stop before the white line at crosswalks, even when making a right turn.

“This law not only protects drivers and occupants, but it helps ensure the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Griffith.  Testimonials from people tragically affected by red light violators are posted at www.ncsrsafety.org/testimonials.

American Traffic Solutions, Incorporated operates all aspects  of Sugar Land’s photographic traffic signal enforcement system.  Contracting provides an efficient solution for the City, allowing police officers to focus on other law enforcement activities that enhance public safety.

The owner of a vehicle photographed running a red light is subject to a $75 fine.  State law requires payment of the civil fine.  The revenue from red light penalties is split between the state and a special City account to fund traffic safety programs, intersection improvements, public safety programs and traffic enforcement, including the Safe Light Sugar Land initiative.

Facts about red light violators in Sugar Land

•  Approximately 70 percent of violators do not live in Sugar Land.
•  Those who receive a red light ticket rarely receive a second ticket.  Ninety percent of the license plates sent a violation notice never receive a second notice.
•  Red light violations are most common in the afternoon, especially on Saturdays.

Visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/SafeLightSugarLand.asp for more information about Safe Light Sugar Land.

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Posted by on Feb 20 2013. Filed under Sugar Land. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “Safe Light Sugar Land data shows drastic accident reduction”

  1. The above deceptive press release was provided by the City of Sugar Land. It implies that a 58% accident reduction was caused solely by RLCs. That claimed accident reduction is either bogus or it is a statistical fluke. I am filing an open records request to determine which. If the reduction is not bogus, the city’s implication is as valid as saying that sitting in the front row of a burlesque theater causes baldness. It is well documented that RLCs do not reduce accidents. The claimed accident reduction is surely the result of other factors such as newly provided turn lanes, improved signals, and the overall national trend towards accident reduction.

    Unfortunately the city persists in practicing the big lie technique of political propaganda commonly used by fascist dictatorships. A big lie repeated loudly enough and often enough will come to be accepted as being true by an uneducated and gullible large number of people. The lie here is that red light cameras reduce accidents and save lives.

    The release mentions strict enforcement of the full stop requirement for a right turn during a red light. This accounts for a vast majority of the RCL tickets. But these violations are only one tenth as likely to be the cause of an accident compared to straight through or left turn violations. Many traffic engineers hold that a full stop requirement may actually be unsafe and that requirement should be modified.

    The release blithely admits that 70% of the tickets are issued to out-of-towners. Resident drivers after getting one ticket for a rolling stop violation are wisely avoiding this entrapment, but the unaware visitor is not. So much for Sugar Land hospitality!

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