It’s likely been a suspicion to residents that Houston has some of the nation’s worst drivers. As a flat city with several incredibly wide streets, some motorists like to pretend that every thruway is their own personal drag strip. Sadly, this wild accusation may not be too far from reality, as Katy Fowler of the Sun Times Network reports…
According to the National Coalition for Safer Roads, Houston is the nation’s most dangerous city for red-light running.
From 2004 to 2013, 181 people were killed in Houston as the result of someone running a red light, according to the NCSR report.
In the past year, several Texas cities have installed red light cameras to discourage motorists from running red lights, but the efficacy of red light cameras is iffy.
After a successful petition led in part by attorney (now At-Large City Council Member) Michael Kubosh, Houston voters repealed use of the cameras by a decisive margin.
But new Houston city data provides evidence to strengthen the case for the use of cameras, and may even encourage their use across the nation. Here’s more on that from Angie Schmitt from StreetsBlog USA…
The HPD data contrasted crash figures from 2006 to 2010 — when the cameras were in operation — and from 2010 to 2014, after they were banned and removed. At the intersections that formerly had cameras, fatal crashes jumped 30 percent. Meanwhile, total crashes were up 116 percent. And DWI crashes nearly tripled, increasing by 186 percent.
Statistics like these should alarm anyone, even those that may have originally supported the repeal of red light cameras. As other Texas cities have done, maybe it is time for Houston to re-visit this issue. No matter the inconvenience, if these cameras save lives and critical damage from additional accidents, they might be worth the time and effort to be restored.
(photo credit: On the Beat Blog)