In today’s Daily Progress, J. Reynolds Hutchins revisits the question of how effective that the red light cameras at Rio and 29 have been, and finds that they’ve correlated with a sharp increase in accidents that the intersection. There were 38 crashes there in 2010, before the cameras were installed. There were 49 and 2011, 31 in 2012, and 33 in 2013 as of July (on pace for 56 for the year). CBS-19’s Rachel Ryan reported this story last year, which the Albemarle County Police Department disputed via a story reported by Dave McNair in The Hook. The police explained that if you only look at the lanes covered by traffic cameras then there’s actually been a decrease in accidents, but why you would only look at those lanes, I cannot imagine. (How about if you only look at accidents when the moon is waxing? Or in days of the month that include the number “3”?)
The cameras are under scrutiny because of the county’s intention to put another photo-red system at the intersection of Stony Point Road and 250. I go through that intersection at least twice each day, on my way to and from town, and I can think of just one time in my life that I’ve seen somebody run the light there. I don’t have the faintest idea of why the county would want to put a camera at that intersection.