Reader responds to Sugar Land regarding Red Light Cameras
Hon. Sugar Land Mayor and Council,
Hardly anyone disputes that the presence of red light cameras increases rear-enders, but as to t-bone accidents there’s no agreement. We often see statistics claiming large reductions of t-bones with cameras, but those statistics, done by the IIHS or police who have a stake in the outcome, don’t stand up to even casual audit by professional statisticians.
Mark Twain commented: “Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'”
I have to agree with Twain and Disraeli: We should not bet our lives on statistical studies from either side, just because the studies are numerous or appear to be independent. But I am in California where we have had cameras for a long time (we started in 1997 and once had programs in 105 cities, now down to 52), so I can receive guidance from my local officials who, after years of hands-on experience with the camera, have chosen to speak out.
For direct quotes from twenty such officials (police chiefs, mayors) admitting that cameras don’t work, go here: www.highwayrobbery.net/redlightcamsdocsIndustryPRMain.html#Candor
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