Video, NJDOT Analysis Dispel Red-Light Camera Rear-End Crash Myth

SCOTTSDALE, AZ– Video of “same direction” or “rear-end” crashes captured by red-light safety cameras, gives a sobering look at the real cause of rear-end collisions.  Inattentive and speeding drivers inflict serious damage on innocent motorists who are clearly stopped at red-lights. These are just a few examples of the types of collisions that occur at intersections every day. They also affirm independent research findings that conclude drivers who speed or fail to leave a safe stopping distance between themselves and the car ahead of them cause the majority of rear-end crashes at intersections.

A recent NJDOT report found that of the 24 intersections with red-light cameras in operation for one year, rear-end crashes decreased or did not change at 54 percent of the locations.  In fact, intersections with red-light safety cameras saw a greater decrease in rear-end crashes than the intersection without cameras in the study control group. At those intersections, only 44 percent showed a decrease in rear-end crashes.

The video which can be seen here shows crashes from several different intersections in New Jersey. Time and time again, fast-moving cars smashing into the back end of passenger cars and a school bus, all of which are stopped and waiting at the red-light. These examples are just a sample of the more than 7,500 rear-end crashes at New Jersey’s signalized intersections in 2011, according to New Jersey Department of Transportation records.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the leading causes of rear-end collisions includes tailgating, negligent behaviors such as cell phone use while driving and failing to remain alert.  With more than 2.5 million rear-end collisions each year in the U.S.,they are the most common type of collision.

“Rear-end crashes at the red-light safety camera intersections are no more or less common than rear-end crashes at unmonitored intersections.  It’s misleading to blame these crashes on red-light safety cameras. Motorists who lawfully stop at red-lights are driving safely, abiding by the law and avoiding dangerous red-light running crashes. Speeding, reckless drivers are the problem in rear-end crashes,” said Charles Territo, Vice President Communications, American Traffic Solutions.

The angle or T-bone collision is the most dangerous type of intersection crash, and the type red-light safety cameras are used to deter. Typically, an intersection T-bone collision ends in injury or death to someone other than the red-light runner. New Jersey’s second annual report on the effectiveness of red-light safety cameras also found that total right-angle crashes are down 15 percent at locations with cameras in operation for one year, and are reduced by 86 percent at camera locations in their second year of operation. This finding is consistent with the preponderance of studies that show red-light safety cameras help reduce dangerous right-angle collisions.

A recent study from the Texas Transportation Institute also found red-light cameras did not cause rear-end crashes. The 2011 report examined 11,122 crash records from 275 intersections over three years, and concluded that the majority of rear-end crashes were not related to red-light violations. The report found, “In those cases where a greater number of rear-end collisions occurred, the majority were found to be a results of the ‘following’ driver traveling too closely to the lead unit or failing to control speed. Evidence suggests that rear-end crashes are not the result of the lead unit braking hard to avoid running a red signal and being struck from the rear.”

About American Traffic Solutions:

ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. ATS has more than 3,000 installed red-light and speed safety cameras serving more than 30 million people. ATS has contracts in nearly 300 communities in 21 states and Washington, D.C., including: Fort Worth, Kansas City, Memphis, Nassau County (N.Y.), New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle and St. Louis. For more information, please visit:

Video can be viewed at


Contact: Charles Territo
Title: Vice President of Communications
Phone: (480) 443-7000