Evaluating the Effectiveness of Red Light Running Camera Enforcement in Cedar Rapids and Developing Guidelines for Selection and Use of Red Light Running Countermeasures

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

02/01/10

END DATE

06/01/11

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, MTC
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Midwest Transportation Consortium
U.S. DOT RITA

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Shauna Hallmark

Director, InTrans

Co-Principal Investigator
Tom McDonald

Safety Circuit Rider

About the research

Red light running (RLR) is a problem in the US that has resulted in 165,000 injuries and 907 fatalities annually. In Iowa, RLR-related crashes make up 24.5 percent of all crashes and account for 31.7 percent of fatal and major injury crashes at signalized intersections.

RLR crashes are a safety concern due to the increased likelihood of injury compared to other types of crashes. One tool used to combat red light running is automated enforcement in the form of RLR cameras. Automated enforcement, while effective, is often controversial.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa installed RLR and speeding cameras at seven intersections across the city. The intersections were chosen based on crash rates and whether cameras could feasibly be placed at the intersection approaches.

The cameras were placed starting in February 2010 with the last one becoming operational in December 2010. An analysis of the effect of the cameras on safety at these intersections was determined prudent in helping to justify the installation and effectiveness of the cameras.

The objective of this research was to assess the safety effectiveness of the RLR program that has been implemented in Cedar Rapids. This was accomplished by analyzing data to determine changes in the following metrics:

  • Reductions in red light violation rates based on overall changes, time of day changes, and changes by lane
  • Effectiveness of the cameras over time
  • Time in which those running the red light enter the intersection
  • Changes in the average headway between vehicles entering the intersection

Funding Sources:
Iowa Department of Transportation ($15,000.00)
Midwest Transportation Consortium ($25,000.00)
U.S. DOT RITA
Total: $40,000.00

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