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Directions in Highway Safety, Summer 2008 Cover Page Download Newsletter pdf
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Late Winter 2008 | Vol. 10 | No. 4

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Iowa Research Finds Red Light Cameras Reduce Crashes

The Iowa Department of Transportation recently released a new report examining red light camera programs in two Iowa communities. The report, The Effectiveness of Iowa's Automated Red Light Running Enforcement Programs, found that red light cameras significantly reduced crashes related to red light running in both communities: a 40 percent reduction in Davenport and a 90 percent reduction in Council Bluffs.

Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE) at Iowa State University Logo

The number of total crashes also decreased by 20 percent in Davenport and 44 percent in Council Bluffs after cameras were installed. The research did not indicate an increase in rear-end crashes at either community. Both Davenport's and Council Bluffs' camera programs became operational in 2004.

The study also included at a third city, Clive. Because the program began in June 2006, there was insufficient data for crash analysis. However, researchers were able to analyze the number of red light running violations at intersections with cameras compared with the number at control intersections. Intersections without cameras had 25 times more red light running violations than those equipped with cameras.

The Iowa DOT funded the report, which was conducted by the Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE) at Iowa State University.

The complete report can be found at