The Impact of Red Light Cameras on Injury Crashes within Miami-Dade County, Florida

Anthoni F. Llau, Florida International University


Previous red light camera (RLC) studies have shown reductions in violations and overall and right angle collisions, however, they may also result in increases in rear-end crashes (Retting & Kyrychenko, 2002; Retting & Ferguson, 2003). Despite their apparent effectiveness, many RLC studies have produced imprecise findings due to inappropriate study designs and/or statistical techniques to control for biases (Retting & Kyrychenko, 2002), therefore, a more comprehensive approach is needed to accurately assess whether they reduce motor vehicle injury collisions. The objective of this proposal is to assess whether RLC’s improve safety at signalized intersections within Miami-Dade County, Florida. Twenty signalized intersections with RLC’s initiating enforcement on January 1st, 2011 were matched to two comparison sites located at least two miles from camera sites to minimize spillover effect. An Empirical Bayes analysis was used to account for regression to the mean. Incidences of all injury, red light running related injury, right-angle/turning, and rear-end collisions were examined. An index of effectiveness along with 95% CI’s were calculated. During the first year of camera enforcement, RLC sites experienced a marginal decrease in right-angle/turn collisions, a significant increase in rear-end collisions, and significant decreases in all-injury and red light running-related injury collisions. An increase in right-angle/turning and rear-end collisions at the RLC sites was observed after two years despite camera enforcement. A significant reduction in red light running-related injury crashes, however, was still observed after two years. A non-significant decline in all injury collisions was also noted. Findings of this research indicate RLC’s reduced red light running-related injury collisions at camera sites, yet its tradeoff was a large increase in rear-end collisions. Further, there was inconclusive evidence whether RLC’s affected right-angle/turning and all injury collisions. Statutory changes in crash reporting during the second year of camera enforcement affected the incidence of right-angle and rear-end collisions, nevertheless, a novelty effect could not be ruled out. A limitation of this study was the small number of injury crashes at each site. In conclusion, future research should consider events such as low frequencies of severe injury/fatal collisions and changes in crash reporting requirements when conducting RLC analyses.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Llau, Anthoni F., "The Impact of Red Light Cameras on Injury Crashes within Miami-Dade County, Florida" (2015). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI10002872.