Archive for July, 2016

ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 33

July 28th, 2016 Comments off



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Study: Fatal Crashes Increase 30% with Cameras Off (National), July 28, 2016

Cities that switched off their red-light cameras between 2010 and 2014 saw a 30 percent increase in the number of fatal red-light-running crashes, a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study says. Meanwhile, cities that turned cameras on saw 21 percent fewer fatal red-light-running crashes than they would have otherwise, the study says. Red-light cams affect other types of dangerous driving behavior, too. Read IIHS news release and report here. ( image and IIHS image)

Florida Appeals Court Upholds Red-Light Camera Program
Panama City News Herald (Florida), July 27, 2016

Urging the state Supreme Court to take up the controversial issue, an appeals court Wednesday rejected a motorist’s argument that a South Florida city had given too much authority to a company that operates red-light traffic camera programs. In a 29-page ruling Wednesday, the 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld Aventura’s program, which it said relies on police officers — not the private contractor — to make decisions about ticketing motorists. View court ruling here. See related article at the Miami Herald. Read ATS news release here. (Florida Third District Court of Appeal image)

TV Station Finds Crashes Decrease with Cameras in Amarillo
KVII-TV ABC 7 (Texas), July 27, 2016

With the city of Amarillo’s red-light camera contract approaching renewal, ABC 7 looked at the crash data and found fewer crashes over six years. The review looked at four of the eight cameras in place at the same intersections for six years. In that time period crashes fell from 24 to eight at one intersection; from 22 to two at another location; and from nine to zero at two other separate intersections.

Red-Light Running Crash Damages Vehicles, Scrapes Drivers
St. George News (Utah), July 23, 2016

Running a red light resulted in twisted metal and vehicle tows for two motorists in St. George on July 23. A Subaru traveling south ran a red light and collided with a westbound Honda, according to St. George Police officer Colby Carter. … Both vehicles sustained significant front-end damage, while both drivers reported minor scrapes. The driver of the Subaru was cited for running a red light. (St. George News image)

Windsor Heights to Add More Speed Cameras
The Des Moines Register (Iowa), July 21, 2016

The 25 mph stretch of University Avenue in Windsor Heights will soon have two permanent cameras installed to catch speeders. The city has used mobile speed cameras since 2012. They have reduced speeding, crashes and injuries, interim police Chief Derek Meyer said in a news release. … The fixed-place speed cameras from American Traffic Solutions are a first for the city, which previously used mobile speed cameras only.


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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety VIDEO of the week: @DaviePolice safety cameras catch this near-miss! Always remember to #StoponRed

ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety @AustinISD Kris Hafezizadeh gave an excellent presentation at the @STNMagazine Expo on School Bus Stop-Arm Cams


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I-66 HOT Lanes Setup about to Begin
The Washington Post (District of Columbia), July 27, 2016

Drivers on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway this summer are going to notice the first signs of the project that will bring tolling to the rush-hour lanes next year. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is scheduled to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the project Monday. … This part of the work is mostly about setting up the gantries and other support equipment for the tolling system. (WTOP-Radio 103.5 FM image by Dave Dildine)

Highway Chief Says Electronic Tolls Will Help Decrease Congestion (Massachusetts), July 27, 2016

Speaking to fellow transportation officials from across the country and around the world, Massachusetts highway administrator Thomas Tinlin defended the Bay State’s coming switch to all electronic tolling on the turnpike. He said the move will decrease congestion on the roads and increase air quality as well as safety. Toll booths lead to higher crash rates, according to Tinlin. Read related coverage by The Boston Globe. (WWLP-TV Channel 22 image)


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Editorial: Let’s Use School Bus Safety Cameras 
Times Daily/Gadsden Times (Alabama), July 25, 2016

We think all school systems with bus fleets — we’re of course focused on the ones in Northeast Alabama — should find a way to make it happen with school bus safety cameras. … One would think sheer common sense and a hesitance to put a child getting on or off a bus in jeopardy would ensure compliance. However, a state Department of Education official said a survey showed 1,361 illegal passings during the last school year, one for every 280 miles traveled by school buses. That’s just wrong. The only acceptable number for this scenario is zero — period.



“I thought they were a bad idea. They have absolutely lowered accidents, and I’m supportive of them now.”
Paul Harpole, Mayor of Amarillo, Texas
KVII-TV ABC 7 (Texas), July 26, 2016

“With the cameras helping to enforce traffic laws, our officers have more time to focus on drunken and reckless drivers, to respond to significant crimes and to target other serious crimes.”
Derek Meyer, Interim Police Chief, Windsor Heights
The Des Moines Register (Iowa), July 21, 2016


Red-light camera programs in 79 large U.S. cities saved nearly 1,296 lives through 2014, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The institute’s new study also looked at 14 cities that ended their camera programs between 2010 and 2014 and found the fatal red-light running crash rate was 30 percent higher than it would have been if the cameras remained in operation. Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety news release, July 28, 2016.

In the city of Amarillo, crashes have decreased at four intersections with red-light cameras in operation for six years. When comparing crashes in 2008-2009 with those in 2014-2015, KVII-TV ABC 7 found crashes decreased from 24 to 8 at Ross and I-40; from 22 to 2 at Coulter and I-40; and from 9 crashes to zero at both intersections of Coulter Street and Elmhurst Drive as well as Pierce and S.E. 11th avenue. Rear end crashes approaching all four intersections had dropped to zero in the same time frame: from 5 to 0; 12 to 0; 7 to 0, and 2 to 0 respectively. Source: KVII-TV ABC 7 (Texas), July 26, 2016.


ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 32

July 21st, 2016 Comments off



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Survey: Endless Number of Drivers Illegally Passing School Buses (national), July 21, 2016

Today, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) released the results of its 6th annual survey on illegal passing of school buses. In one day, with almost 20 percent of the nation’s school bus drivers in 33 states and the District of Columbia participating, there were 74,421 vehicles counted making illegal passes around buses. One in 58 violations occurred on the entrance/exit side of the bus. Throughout a 180-day school year, these results point to more than 13 million violations. View ATS press release here. (WHEC-TV NBC 10 image)

Editorial: We Support Stop-Arm Cameras on School Buses
WBRC-TV FOX 6 (Alabama), July 19, 2016

One could only hope that the mere fact that you run the risk of running a child over when you don’t stop for a school bus waiting on children would be enough, but recent statistics show otherwise. Based on a survey administered by the Alabama Department of Education, last year alone there were 1,361 incidents involving illegal passing of school buses. We enthusiastically support all school systems in our viewing area adopting this program to add cameras to as many buses as they can. (WBRC-TV FOX 6 image)

Funding Is Hurdle for Stop-Arm Running Prevention Awareness
School Bus Fleet (National), July 18, 2016

Along with passing stop-arm camera bills, other suggestions to reduce this dangerous behavior include dedicating a chapter in the state driver’s license manuals to school bus safety, and launching a year-round “media blitz,” with television and radio commercials and billboards. Surprisingly, getting funding for these efforts can be a significant obstacle.

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Speed Cameras Could be in Deadly Roadway’s Future
WCAU-TV NBC 10 (Pennsylvania), July 20, 2016

Safety advocates are pushing a new bill to make one of Philadelphia’s most dangerous highways safer. The measure, just introduced in Pennsylvania’s House, would add automated speed cameras to Roosevelt Boulevard. Between 2011 and 2015, more than 60 people were killed and more than 4,700 were injured on the 12-lane highway. See related coverage by WCAU-TV NBC 10 and WPVI-TV ABC 6.  (WCAU-TV NBC 10 image)

Community Wants Action after 6 Pedestrian Fatalities in 6 Months
KHNL/KGMB-TV NBC 13/CBS 5 (Hawaii), July  19, 2016

The Waianae community has had enough. After six pedestrian fatalities in six months, the group has called for wider road shoulders, better sidewalks, traffic calming measures, brighter street lights and cameras to catch speeders and red-light runners. State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said she will talk to the state about the cameras. “I think it really would create a much higher sense of security. And I think a lot of people would think twice before they speed through these lights and break the law,” she said. (KHNL/KGMB-TV Hawaii News Now image)



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Alpharetta Police Ask City to Bring Back Red-Light Cameras
WSB-Radio 750 AM/95.5 FM (Georgia), July 21, 2016

Alpharetta police ask their city to reactivate red-light cameras at seven key intersections. The cameras have been out of commission for more than a year. Since then, Alpharetta police have noticed a spike in traffic crashes. (WSB-Radio 750AM/95.5FM image by Barbara J. Perenic)

5 Injured in Plainsboro when School Bus Runs Red Light
NJ Advance Media for (New Jersey), July 19, 2016

A school bus ran a red traffic light Tuesday afternoon, causing five people — including three juveniles — to be hospitalized, police said. The bus collided with a four-door sedan making a left turn, according to Lt. John Bresnen, of the Plainsboro Police Department. (WNYT-TV NBC 13 image)

City of Windsor Heights Partners with ATS Heights (Iowa), July 20, 2016

The city of Windsor Heights welcomes American Traffic Solutions (ATS) as its new vendor in the city’s ongoing efforts to reduce traffic collisions and speeding. ATS emerged from a competitive selection process with the contract to furnish, install, operate and maintain the city’s Speed Enforcement Program, which consists of one mobile speed unit and two additional fixed systems.


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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety By the minute … 29,989 fatal crashes in the United States, one every 17.6 minutes, claiming 32,675 lives. #StopOnRed

ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety City of Windsor Heights Partners with American Traffic Solutions #SpeedKills #SpeedSafety


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Toll Lanes Taking Shape on I-77 North of Charlotte
WFAE-Radio 90.7 FM (North Carolina), July 18, 2016

The debate over optional toll lanes on I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville has played out in court, in local elections, and at the Statehouse over the past few years. Now, the lanes are taking shape. The median from Huntersville to Cornelius is now a mass of red clay, as contractors lay the groundwork to build 26 miles of toll lanes. Contractors are focused on delivering the project by end of 2018. (WFAE-Radio image by David Boraks)

New Turnpike Interchange Connects with Cashless Tolls
The Inquirer (Pennsylvania), July 16, 2016

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has agreed to provide $66 million over next eight years to help fund one of Montgomery County’s largest transportation projects: expanding highway access through an interchange that could benefit downtown Norristown. The interchange will give drivers access to the cashless tolls on and off both the Valley Forge and Norristown exits, two of the busiest exits in the state.

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Letter to the Editor: Red-Light Cameras Encourage Safety
Knoxville News Sentinel (Tennessee), July 18, 2016

On July 1, while turning right, I was hit by a car turning left in front of me. The police reported no fault as both drivers claimed the green signal and there were no witnesses. However, there was a witness — the traffic cameras. … Within days of requesting a video report, I was informed that the camera had captured the accident and I was shown innocent. … As a citizen directly affected by the importance of traffic cameras, I strongly support their retention.



“These red light cameras provide a tremendous benefit to us. They stop the serious T-bone type crashes at intersections.”
George Gordon, Police Officer with Alpharetta Police Department
WSB-Radio 750 AM/95.5 FM (Georgia), July 21, 2016

“What’s more important, your privacy when you break the law or a life that could have been saved if nobody broke the law?”
Chad Taniguchi, Executive Director of the Hawaii Bicycling League
KHNL/KGMB-TV NBC 13/CBS 5 (Hawaii), July  19, 2016


ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 31

July 14th, 2016 Comments off


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Alabama Gives Green Light to Exterior School Bus Cameras
WRBL-TV ABC 3, July 13, 2016

It’s a sad reality: Many drivers ignore school bus safety laws. In Alabama, 1,200 to 1,600 drivers illegally pass stopped school buses each day. Now, Alabama has enacted a law that gives school districts the authority to install cameras on the arms of school bus stop signs to record traffic violators. The unblinking camera eye will serve to help police identify and charge reckless drivers. See related article at WALA-TV FOX 10.  (WRBL-TV ABC 3 image)


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Tamarac’s Red-Light Camera Agreement Awaits 4-Year Extension
Sun Sentinel (Florida), July 12, 2016

Tamarac’s program that relies on cameras to catch red-light runners may get a four-year extension. … Tamarac’s contract with its vendor, American Traffic Solutions, is expected to be approved at Wednesday night’s City Commission meeting. It calls for two additional two year extensions. (RSI NOTE: The city council approved the extension Wednesday.) Sun Sentinel image.

There Are Proven Measures to Reduce Fatal Crashes
WKBN-TV Channel 27 (Ohio), July 12, 2016

According to the Centers for Disease Control, speed and red-light cameras, as well as seat belt enforcement, are among the safety options that help reduce crashes. Lt. Jerad Sutton, Ohio State Highway Patrol, says while most people think drunk driving is the top reason for fatal crashes, it’s really improper lane change, especially when the driver is distracted.

PA. Governor Expected to Approve 10-Year Red-Light Camera Extension
KYW-TV CBS 3 (Philadelphia), July 11, 2016

A spokesman says Governor Wolf is expected to sign a bill on the way to his desk that would extend Philadelphia’s red-light camera program through 2027. Under current law, the red-light camera program covering Philadelphia and other eligible municipalities is set to expire next summer.

Appeals Court Upholds Toledo’s Use of Red-Light Cameras
WSPD-Radio 1370 AM (Ohio), July 8, 2016

The Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court’s decision that the City of Toledo’s use of red-light traffic cameras is constitutional. See related article at Toledo Blade.


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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety Our hearts go out to the victims, their families & the brave men & women of the DallasPD #dallas

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety retweet.  It Can Wait @ItCanWait  Think you’re a professional” at texting while driving? Make it your job to drive distraction-free by visiting  #DontDriveDistracted.


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Hardy Toll Road Closes for Conversion to Automated Tolling
Houston Chronicle (Texas), July 12, 2016

Harris County Toll Road Authority officials are closing the toll road at noon Friday for the final stage of converting all toll lanes to electronic tolling. … During the closing, crews will demolish the toll plazas and replace everything with automated toll gantries. Once the Hardy reopens, vehicles must have a transponder such as an EZ TAG or TxTag, No cash tolling booths will be along the road. (Houston Chronicle image by Kirk Wagner)

Toll Bridge Plan Announced for CenterPoint
Crain’s Chicago Business (Illinois), July 11, 2016

The state of Illinois is moving into the private toll bridge business. In a rather unique twist today, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced a deal under which CenterPoint Properties will build a $179 million to $190 million private toll bridge linking Interstate 80 with its huge multimodal facility in Will County. The bridge is expected to alleviate congestion on local roads. Construction could begin next year.


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Letter to the Editor: Photo Radar Not a ‘Cash Cow’
Edmonton Journal (Canada), July 12, 2016

As the parents of David Finkelman, who was killed by a careless driver two years ago, we are tired of hearing speeders complain that photo radar is a “cash cow.” … Edmonton has a serious problem with speed. We are already on our way to a near-record number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Complainers, like last week’s letter writer, contribute to this problem.

Letter: Change Driving, Not Shopping Habits
Amarillo Globe-News (Texas), July 10, 2016

Regarding the letter from the woman lamenting the fact that she has received four traffic camera tickets at the same intersection while on shopping trips to Amarillo. … Instead of changing shopping habits, perhaps a change in driving habits would be more prudent.

Letter: Time for Speed, Red-Light Cameras in Utah
The Salt Lake Tribune, July 9, 2016

I arrived not long ago for my annual visit to Utah. I soon recalled the wild-west style of driving. There are simple solutions available. They are: require front license plates; install radar speed cameras on I-15, and install red light cameras at problem intersections.



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“You don’t know what a child’s going to do when they get on a school bus or off a school bus. So you need to anticipate that they’re going to do something like run out or walk out in front of traffic. But if you’re doing what you need to do, you can avoid a tragic situation, just by paying attention to your surroundings.”
Jesse Thornton, Corporal with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
WRBL-TV CBS 3 (Alabama), July 13, 2016

“Multi-tasking while driving is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you understand then (that when) you get behind the wheel of a car that your number one focus has to be driving, not texting, not talking on the phone — driving.”
Jerad Sutton, Ohio State Highway Patrol Lieutenant
WKBN -TV Channel 27 (Ohio), July 12, 2016

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“You have nothing to fear with red light cameras, unless you barrel through a red light.”
John Taylor, Pennsylvania State Representative
KYW-TV CBS 3 (Philadelphia), July 11, 2016



ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 30

July 7th, 2016 Comments off


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Why U.S. Still Struggles with Car Crash Fatalities
Newsweek, July 7, 2016

A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday shows that the U.S. is still struggling with auto fatalities — especially compared with other countries. … In its report, the CDC cites the “Vision Zero” approach to traffic safety which involves several safety measures including speed cameras. (CDC, Newsweek image)

Alabama Law Allowing School Bus Stop-Arm Cameras Takes Effect
WJSU-TV ABC 33, July 4, 2016

The Alabama School Bus Safety Act took effect July 1. It allows school systems the option of putting cameras on school buses to enforce the stop sign. Bus drivers and elected officials say there is a need for the technology. (WJSU-TV ABC 33 image)

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Early Estimates See Rise in U.S. Traffic Fatalities in 2015
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, July 2016

A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2015 shows an estimated 35,200 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents an increase of about 7.7 percent as compared to the 32,675 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in 2014. See related coverage by The Associated Press(NHTSA image)

Market Report Sees Growth for Traffic Safety Camera Industry
WSFX-TV FOX 26 (North Carolina), July 4, 2016

A new market report published by Credence Research Inc. finds the adoption of traffic enforcement cameras are increasing due to stringent road safety regulations and increasing efforts to reduce road fatalities across the world.


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San Antonio Council OKs School Bus Stop Arm Camera Ordinance
School Bus Fleet (National), July 5, 2016

Last week, the city council here unanimously approved an ordinance that will create a civil penalty for unlawfully passing a stopped school bus while loading and unloading students. This ordinance will authorize local independent school districts to install cameras to capture violators. (School Bus Fleet image by Lois Cordes)

Judge Sets More than Anticipated Jail Time for Driver Who Hit Student
Battle Creek Enquirer (Michigan), July 5, 2016

A West Michigan man was sentenced to six months in jail and 18 months on probation after pleading no contest in May to a misdemeanor charge of a moving violation in a school bus zone causing injury. The 12-year-old boy has suffered lifelong debilitating head injuries. Circuit Judge John Hallacy handed down a sentence that was more severe than the 30-days in jail prosecutors agreed to in exchange for a no-contest plea agreement.

Driver Who Hit Girls Near School Bus Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison
School Bus Fleet (National), July 5, 2016

A motorist who pleaded guilty to striking two girls in May after they exited their school bus, leaving them severely injured, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, the Kitsap Sun reports. The driver pleaded guilty to a count of vehicular assault and felony hit and run, and was sentenced on June 23.


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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety VIDEO of the week: @ClermontPD red-light runner nearly T-bones vehicle.


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First All-Electronic Toll Road Opens on Illinois Tollway System
Chicago Tribune (Illinois), July 5, 2016

The free ride ended Tuesday on the completed western section of Illinois Route 390, formerly known as the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, which has become the first all-electronic tolling road on the Illinois Tollway system.

Tech Upgrade Adds Transponder to Bridge Crossing Options 
BusinessWire, July 5, 2016

TransCore, a leader in transportation solutions, has upgraded the Bob Sikes Bridge’s tolling system to allow drivers to also use SunPass transponders for more convenient, expeditious access to Pensacola Beach.


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Commentary: Judge Shares Lessons Learned from Speed Ticket
The Glendale Star (Arizona), July 7, 2016

After receiving my first ticket in decades, I arranged to go to driving school. … I must admit, I learned a few things. I learned anyone can attend defensive driving school without a citation anytime they like, just for the education. I would encourage everyone, especially new drivers, to attend this class.

Commentary: Say ‘Cheese’ When You Run a Red Light
Johnson City Press (Tennessee), July 3, 2016

A few weeks ago, the Knoxville News Sentinel published an editorial in which the paper took a state legislator to task for setting fire to a citation he had been issued for running a red light and posting the display on social media. The News Sentinel correctly called state Rep. Andy Holt “irresponsible” for calling on others to do the same. … Given his Facebook post, where he boasts of burning citations, Holt must run a lot of red lights. If so, that makes him both dangerous and irresponsible — not the qualities most Tennesseans are seeking in a public official.

Letter to the Editor: Lost Speed Cameras Is a Mistake
The Arizona Republic, July 1, 2016

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Yes, the Legislature passed the bills removing the cameras on Arizona highways, but our esteemed Sen. Debbie Lesko has led the charge. So, now the cameras are gone from Grand Avenue through El Mirage. Through her efforts, speeding incidents are up (westbound 179 percent and eastbound 319 percent). … I challenge Ms. Lesko to borrow a patrol car from Chief Terry McDonald and park along Grand Avenue. She might learn something.



“I’m pleased to see that the dreaded red-light cameras have reduced accidents at Lake Street … and North Avenue. Contrary to popular belief, that was our goal and I’m happy to see we’ve achieved that goal.”
Mike Gibbs, River Forest Trustee (Illinois), July 5, 2016


Crashes are decreasing at two intersections in the Village of River Forest since red-light cameras became operational, according to the community’s police department analysis. The data shows total crashes fell 55%, rear-end crashes decreased 53% and crash-related injuries dropped 55% at the eastbound approach of Harlem and North avenues since the cameras began operation in 2013. At the second location, the southbound approach of Harlem and Lake where cameras have been in use since 2014, total crashes have dropped 40%, rear-end crashes decreased 67% and crash related injuries fell 100%. Source:, July 5, 2016.