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Guest opinion

AAA: Tucson's Prop. 201 wouldn't make streets safer

Red-light running consistently ranks as one of the top causes of traffic crashes in the country. In fact, recent data shows that one in three Americans know someone who has been hurt or killed in a red-light running crash. In Tucson, the statistics are especially startling as the city is often considered one of the deadliest in the nation for red-light running crashes, with 61 lives lost between 2004 and 2013.

Photo enforcement, used at intersections to nab red-light runners, has been considered by safety advocates to be an effective deterrent to reduce this dangerous driving practice. In fact, a 2011 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that red-light cameras reduced these types of fatal crashes by 24 percent and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 17 percent.

In Tucson, the safety benefits of photo enforcement, especially as it relates to red-light crashes, are clear. According to a recent report issued by the Tucson Police Department, collisions at eight intersections monitored by red-light cameras decreased by 70 percent since the cameras were installed in 2007, falling from 188 crashes in 2006 to 57 in 2015.

That's why Proposition 201 is so unsettling. If passed, this proposition would prohibit the use of photo enforcement for both red lights and speeding in Tucson.

While an over-reliance on automated enforcement should be avoided, when used responsibly, this technology has significant life-saving benefits. As a traffic safety organization and as an advocate for the motoring public, AAA strongly opposes Proposition 201 as it jeopardizes the safety and security of all Tucson motorists.

AAA Arizona supports a comprehensive approach to traffic safety including, but not limited to, education, public awareness, proper engineering and effective enforcement. Proposition 201 needlessly eliminates a proven tool aimed at curbing one of the deadliest driving behaviors in the city.

Mike Tully is the president and CEO of AAA Arizona.

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Oct 26, 2015, 11:09 pm
-0 +1

Cathy S. reported:

This report doesn’t acknowledge the change in methodology of accident-reporting that occurred in 2010, nor the decrease in driver traffic in 2008-9.

Actually, according to ADOT, traffic volume in Tucson dropped from 2007-2013, This time period coincides with the installation of cameras and the drop in traffic has allowed Tucson to claim credit the reduction in crashed due almost exclusively to a drop in traffic.Traffic was up for 2014 and guess what? So were crashes. But the 2014 data just came out and guess who isn’t in a hurry to release the numbers?

Oct 26, 2015, 11:06 pm
-0 +2

Kyle V. reported:

@PhotoRadarScam I would guess that even if they account for only 6%...

Stop guessing and look at the data. One of the 2 fatalities at Oracle and River Rd in the past 10 years was a rear-end crash.
You haven’t even bothered to read that report Cathy linked. It tallied injury and fatality crashes before and after cameras. Guess what? No reduction in injury crashes. No change in fatalities.
You know, traffic safety is a science practiced by traffic engineers. We don’t have to ‘guess’ about anything. There’s a reason why they have cops do what would normally be done by a traffic engineer anywhere else if safety was the real concern. When MONEY is the concern, cops do it,
Why do you continue to deny the science?

Oct 26, 2015, 2:39 pm
-0 +2

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