Data may show cameras make intersection safer
Updated: July 15, 2012 2:46PM
Two intersections in Western Springs have had a decrease in vehicle crashes since having red-light cameras installed.
Village Trustee Patrick Word said the intersection of Ogden Avenue and Wolf Road was averaging about 23 vehicle crashes a year the three years leading up to the installation of a red-light camera.
“Since the installation back in May of 2009 … the average is about 11. So there’s been a decrease,” Word said.
The village’s other red-light camera is at the intersection of Wolf Road and 55th Street. There were an average of seven vehicle crashes a year at the intersection during the three years before the camera was installed. Then in 2009, there were only four.
The unanswered question, however, is whether the accident declines have anything to do with red-light cameras.
Crash data comes from the Illinois Department of Transportation, and so far Western Springs only has information related to years 2009 and 2010.
“There’s not really enough data to say that it’s going to continue in that direction,” Word said.
Police Chief Pamela Church said the state of Illinois requires the village to release crash data related to intersections with red-light cameras.
When asked her opinion of the cameras she pointed out the relatively low number of crashes at Ogden Avenue and Wolf Road in 2009 and 2010.
“Because that’s what the red-light cameras are all about, safety,” Church said.
Data for 2011 crashes will not be available until August, Church said.
Word said the data is encouraging, seeing as how crashes have not gone up at the intersections.
“I think there was some concern that because of the installation of photo enhancement cameras, people would break harder when they saw the sign,” Word said.
According to crash information from IDOT, rear-end crashes at Ogden Avenue and Wolf Road dropped from 23 in 2008 to six in 2009. And at 55th Street and Wolf Road, rear-end crashes dropped from six in 2008 to three in 2009 and one in 2010.
Village President William Rodeghier said that despite the numbers, it is still too soon to say whether the cameras are related to the reduction in crashes.