The number of rear-end collisions increased from 55 to 90, the number of side collisions increased from 220 to 427 and the number of sideswipe collisions increased from 72 to 167 at the monitored intersections. A Washington Post study showed that the number of accidents at monitored intersections in Washington, D.C., between 1999-2005, increased at a higher rate than at non-monitored intersections.
Apologists for the cameras claim that the increased number of accidents at those intersections are not due to the cameras but, instead, to the increased number of accidents in the city despite information from the Houston Police Department that the number of accidents in the city has decreased every year since 2004.
This latest data makes a very strong case for the camera opponents' assertion that the purpose of the cameras is increasing city revenues, not safety. Since September 2006, more than 387,000 citations have been issued and the city has raked in over $20 million.
Supporters love the cameras because the $75 civil citations sent by mail to the registered owner of the car are virtually impossible to fight, as the burden has been shifted from the state to the citizen to prove he or she didn't run the light. At unmonitored intersections, running a traffic light is a Class C misdemeanor meaning the burden is on the prosecution to prove the citizen ran the light.