Local and state governments are using fewer red-light cameras, the Wall Street Journal reports. After a decade of steady growth, the number of communities using cameras to catch drivers who run stoplights has fallen 6 percent since 2012, to 508, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Seven states ban them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and several more, including Ohio and Florida, are considering prohibitions.
Studies of whether cameras improve traffic safety are numerous and point to contradictory conclusions. Many locations, including some big cities, have no plans to get rid of them. Camera suppliers say the total number of cameras in use continues to grow, largely thanks to some larger cities, such as Washington, D.C., expanding their programs. “Opponents of the industry would like the story to be that the demise of the red-light camera is upon us, but nothing could be farther from the truth,” said Charles Territo of American Traffic Solutions. Still, an increasing number of city and county officials are questioning their worth—and pulling the plug.