City Council will consider extending the contract for management of the Safelight program for one year during their regular meeting on August 21.
Citizens benefit from this technology in many ways. Accidents involving red-light runners decrease significantly at intersections with SafeLight cameras. Because the cameras act as an impartial witness to an accident or an infraction, the video can be used in a court of law or by insurance companies to determine fault after an accident or to exonerate an innocent party. Videos are also used by traffic planners and engineers to design safer intersections.
Do the cameras really prevent accidents?
After SafeLight cameras were installed, crashes involving red light running:
- Decreased by almost 60% at the intersection of Market and 23rd streets
- Decreased by more than 63% at the intersection of Market Street and New Centre Drive
What does the city do with all the fines it collects?
Although the city and county contribute equally to the management of the SafeLight cameras, a small portion of the money collected goes toward the cost of maintaining the system. According to North Carolina state law, however, the remainder must go to the county schools. Last year alone, the New Hanover County school district received almost $790,000 in additional revenue from SafeLight fines collected by the city.
I heard there are more rear-end collisions at SafeLight intersections.
This is a popular misconception. In fact, a study conducted three years after the SafeLight cameras were installed showed that rear-end collisions actually decreased at these intersections.