Evaluation Update of Red Light Camera Program in Fairfax County, Virginia
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The Red Light Camera program in Fairfax County has been in operation for more than 2 years. As of 2003, there are 13 cameras in operation. The camera takes 2 pictures of a vehicle while it illegally entered the intersection and after it entered the intersection. These photographs give evidence of the red light violation. The citation is mailed to the register owner of the vehicle. The penalty is $50. This study has been conducted to evaluate the program. The violation and accident data at all of the study intersections were provided by Fairfax County Department of Transportation and Fairfax County Police Department. The traffic data in Fairfax County were provided by Virginia Department of Transportation. The results of the violation analysis indicate that the Red Light Camera program did reduce the violation rate by up to 58 percent in the 22nd __ 27th month period of the operation. The study also shows that the increase of the amber-time interval produced a higher reduction in violation rate up to 70 percent. The reduction in violation was found to be statistically significant. The violation rate is reduced to 1-2 violations per 10,000 vehicles considering the effect of the RLC operation only. With the effect of both RLC and amber-time increase, the violation rate is reduced to 0-1 violation per 10,000 vehicles. The accident rate is reduced by 27 percent after 2 years of the RLC operation. The Red Light Camera is found to have an effect on the reduction in Property Damage Only accident. However, the reduction in accident was not found to be statistically significant. Therefore, there is no benefit accrued from the reduction in accidents. From this study, the Red Light Camera program increases safety at camera intersections in Fairfax County by reducing violation rates after 2 years of its operation.
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