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Say Cheese: Red Light Cameras to Stay in San Diego

Cities across San Diego County that use red light cameras have no plans to pull the plug on them, citing reductions in both traffic violations and accidents at the intersections that have them, Sign on San Diego reports. In addition to San Diego, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside, Solana Beach, and Vista employ red light cameras.

Supporters of the cameras argue that they reduce accidents and serve as a cost-effective “extra eye” to law enforcement. They cite reports by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Federal Highway Administration that show that intersections with cameras have from 40 percent to 96 percent decreases in red-light violations as well as measurable decreases in right-angle crashes, the leading cause of fatal intersection collisions.

In Vista, red light cameras seem to be working. Right-angle collisions at the city’s five intersections with cameras dropped dramatically from 16 in 2003 to one since 2004.

In addition, Poway has seen a 17 percent decrease in accidents at the intersections over the past five years since the program started compared to the five years before cameras were installed.

At the same time, the cameras are also blamed for some San Diego car accidents. Two San Diego intersections—Westview Parkway and Mira Mesa Boulevard and Nimitz Boulevard and Rosecrans Street—have seen an increase in rear-end accidents since cameras were installed.