Introduction: The primary objective of this paper is to evaluate the safety impacts of red-light running camera (RLC) system installation and then deactivation at 48 intersections in Houston, Texas. The second objective is to evaluate the spillover effect at nearby non-treated intersections in Houston after the deactivation.
Methods: To accomplish study objectives, an Empirical Bayes (EB) before-after analysis was used.
Results: The results indicate statistically significant collision reductions on all red-light running (RLR) crash types (37 percent) as well as right-angle RLR crashes (47 percent) at the treated intersections after RLC activation. By way of comparison, the RLC deactivation analysis indicated that crashes increased by 20 percent for all RLR crash types and by 23 percent in right-angle RLR crashes at the formerly treated intersections. After deactivation, all severity RLR crashes increased more than expected at nearby non-treated intersections, which indicates the possibility of an adverse spillover effect. However, fatal/injury crashes associated with rear-end decreased after deactivation at both formerly treated and non-treated intersections, although those rear-end crashes account for smaller proportions when compared to all crash types/right-angle crashes.
Practical applications: Overall, removing RLC treatments results in a negative reaction to the safety benefits that the treatment provides when it is in place and actively working and to the nearby intersections where the treatment has not been implemented. This study helps define the effects that RLCs have on safety at signalized intersections after installation and deactivation.
Keywords: Cameras deactivation; Enforcement; Intersection safety; Red-light running cameras.
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