New York Voters Express Strong Support for Red-light Cameras

Thu Oct 1, 2009 8:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Speed Enforcement Cameras Also Have Voter Support
NEW YORK--(Business Wire)--
A new statewide survey conducted by national research firm Public Opinion
Strategies (POS) reveals 77 percent of New York voters support the use of
red-light cameras to monitor vehicles that run red lights compared to just 18
percent opposed. This widespread public support for red-light camera safety
programs is strong in all gender and age demographics, in all regions of the

Highlights from the survey findings include:

* 77% of New York voters say that they support the use of red-light cameras in
their community to monitor vehicles running red lights at high traffic volume
intersections. Support by women is 81% compared to 72% of men. 81% of African
Americans support cameras, and 76% of whites. 
* Support in the New York City boroughs (where red-light cameras have been used
since 1994) is 85% in favor. 12% oppose red-light cameras. Support in the New
York City suburbs is 76% compared to 17% who oppose. In Upstate New York, 69% of
voters support the use of red-light cameras compared to 24% opposed. 
* Even those voters who have received tickets for speeding or running red lights
support red-light cameras. 
* Despite the overwhelming support, voters are not confident that their
neighbors share the same opinion. Only 39% think their neighbors support the use
of cameras and 33% think their neighbors oppose. 
* Two-thirds of New Yorkers believe red-light cameras improve traffic safety. 
* Speed enforcement cameras (not currently allowed in New York) also had strong
support of the voters. By a margin of 88% to 10%, voters support speed
enforcement cameras in school zones to enforce speed limits. 77% to 19% support
speed cameras in highway construction zones and 65% support speed cameras on New
York roadways and highways, compared to 29% who oppose using speed cameras on
state roads.

"This poll proves that the public overwhelmingly supports red-light camera
programs in Nassau County and across the state to save lives and make our
roadways safer," said Assemblyman Charles Lavine who sponsored Nassau County`s
red-light camera legislation. "Red-light camera programs are proven to
significantly reduce red-light running violations in the communities where they
have been used and will make Nassau County roads safer." 

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (Syracuse) said, "The results of this poll confirm
what I have been hearing from my constituents: that there is broad support for
common-sense law enforcement techniques that make our roadways safer. Red-light
camera programs are already in use in communities across New York State and the
country, and they have proven to significantly reduce red-light running
violations. I was pleased to sponsor this bill in the Assembly, and I look
forward to working with the City of Syracuse to ensure that our red-light camera
program is implemented as quickly as is practical." 

Assemblyman Mike Spano (Yonkers) said, "Clearly New Yorkers understand the value
of red-light cameras. This strong showing of public support will help make the
program more effective and keep our roads safer." 

State Senator Antoine Thompson (Buffalo) said, "The hope for red-light cameras
is that drivers will be more cautious and more aware of their surroundings. I am
a supporter of red-light cameras along with 77% of voters in New York." 

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) review of international
red-light camera studies concluded that cameras reduce red-light running
violations 40 to 50 percent and reduce injury crashes by 25 to 30 percent. In
addition to reducing red-light running at camera-equipped sites, studies also
show that violation reductions carry over to signalized intersections not
equipped with cameras, indicating community-wide changes in driver behavior. The
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent, nonprofit, scientific
and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses - deaths, injuries
and property damage - from crashes on the nation`s highways. 

"The support registered for red-light cameras in New York State is consistent
with voters` attitudes toward this public safety technology around the country,"
said Frank Hinds, co-founder of the Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance.
Hinds` daughter, Jennifer, was killed by a red-light runner. "Our experience is
that red-light and speed cameras improve drivers` behavior, reduce crashes and
save lives." 

Six New York counties and cities currently have the authority to implement
red-light camera safety programs in the wake of legislation signed into law this
past legislative session. Previously, only New York City had legislative
authorization to implement red-light cameras. New York City`s red-light camera
program, which is run by American Traffic Solutions, has been in place since
1994. NYC has logged a 73 percent reduction in red-light violations since the
red-light cameras were activated and many pedestrian, bicyclist and motorists`
lives have been saved by the reduction in crashes. 

Nassau County began installation of red-light cameras at 50 intersections during
the first week of August. Aside from Yonkers, Suffolk County and the cities of
Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo have legislative authorization to implement
red-light camera programs. 

The survey was conducted August 23-25, 2009 by Public Opinion Strategies and was
commissioned by American Traffic Solutions, which operates large municipal and
county photo enforcement programs in New York City, Nassau County and more than
200 communities across the United States and Canada. 

About American Traffic Solutions:

As the innovators of the first photo-enforcement program in the United States in
1987, ATS is also the fastest growing provider in North America, serving more
than 200 communities including New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., St.
Louis, Houston, Seattle and San Diego. ATS also offers PlatePass, an automated
electronic toll payment service that enables rental vehicle customers to use
high speed, cashless electronic toll lanes. ATS is a privately-owned, U.S.
corporation headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, please
visit:, or

American Traffic Solutions, Inc.
Josh Weiss, Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Copyright Business Wire 2009