RED LIGHT CAMERAS
you haven't already done so, please read Set # 5 on the main page of Hawthorne
This Page is City of Hawthorne Documents - Set # 5, Continued
Rosecrans / Hindry Accident History, The Details
New 11-14-04, updated 7-22-13
Hawthorne's Rosecrans/Hindry intersection with its camera enforcement on left and right turns, is an example of an intersection where there is scant safety justification for the use of the cameras. In Set # 5 on the main page of Hawthorne Documents, there is a table we made showing No CVC 21453 (red light running) accidents at Rosecrans/Hindry in the seventeen year period 1995 to 2011. Here on this continuation page you can look at the official records we used to make that table.
See also Defect # 9 on the Home page.
This June 30, 2004 Daily Breeze article was the first hint the general public got that Hawthorne's cameras would endanger their pocketbooks.
The article said that the cameras at Rosecrans/Hindry and one other intersection would generate a combined total of 1600 tickets in the month of June.
On Nov. 10 the City provided statistics indicating that the Rosecrans/Hindry cameras alone were issuing about 1000 tickets per month. That figure was the highest I had seen at any intersection in California.
It raised the question: Was there a safety problem at the intersection sufficient to justify this unprecedented level of enforcement?
2004: Review of the Accident Record for 1994 - 2004
To find out about the safety record at the intersection, on Aug. 26, 2004 I faxed the City a written records request, as follows. "E. All materials of any kind, created or dated Jan. 1, 2002 to the present, reflecting or discussing the rate of traffic accidents or traffic congestion at any red light camera enforced intersection, the causes of traffic accidents, traffic congestion, or other traffic-related problems there, and/or corrective measures taken or needed to be taken there, including enforcement of traffic laws (including photo enforcement)." On Sept. 23 the City Clerk replied: "A diagram responsive to Request No. E... [is] available for your review...." She offered no other documents. I obtained a copy of the "diagram," which turned out to be a large (24"x 30") hand-annotated map of the city bearing the notation: "Sgt. Kauffman 4/10/03." (In 2016 Kauffman was appointed to be chief of police in Redondo Beach.) The map contained, for each of 25 intersections in town, the number of traffic collisions as registered by the police's regional communications center ("RCC"), the number of CVC 21453 cites, and separately, the number of collisions as recorded by "SWITRS." The "key" on the map said "6 month stats."
(SWITRS - Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System - reports, are provided to cities and individual citizens, at no cost, by the Information Services Unit of the CHP. If you want a report for an intersection in your neighborhood, go to their website at http://iswitrs.chp.ca.gov.
Please note, however, that SWITRS will automatically send the City a copy of whatever they have provided to you.)
Here is highwayrobbery.net's table of the figures found on the City's map. Bold type represents an intersection with a red light camera.
Table assembled by highwayrobbery.net from figures on 4/10/03 City map.
*Traffic volume obtained by averaging two nearby volumes.
The first-listed street is east-west.
The Rosecrans / Hindry intersection does not "stand-out" based upon the accident statistics given above. In fact, if its accident figures were adjusted for the very high traffic volume the intersection sees, the accident rate would probably be among the lowest in the City.
The City's map did not indicate the causes of the accidents it listed.
To examine the causes, I obtained the SWITRS ten-year (1994 - 2004) accident printout for Rosecrans / Hindry. The nine-page SWITRS report (all nine pages are posted on this website) showed a total of fifty-one accidents of all kinds, about one every two months.
Of those fifty-one accidents, only four (about one every two years) were caused by motorists making a westbound left turn or a northbound right turn, the movements now monitored by cameras, and none of the four clearly ran, or rolled, the red light. Three of the four probably occurred under a green light, and one probably occurred after the driver stopped for the red, then started moving again.
Only one of the four was recent, in 2002. Two of them were in 1996, and one was in 1998.
Three were "PDO" - property damage only - and one resulted in injuries.
Those four accidents are discussed in detail, below.
(SWITRS abbreviations are explained at the bottom of this webpage.)
Accident # 1
Accident # 1 of the four is the top report on the SWITRS page below, and occurred in 1996. Based upon the violation noted, CVC 21453(b) (driver turning right shall yield right-of-way), as well as the Primary Collision Factor of "r-o-w auto," the reporting officer believed that the at-fault driver stopped at the light for the northbound right turn but then proceeded to make the right turn without having clear right-of-way. The accident involved another northbound driver who made an illegal lane change or improper turn (CVC 22107), and an eastbound driver. The accident was a sideswipe with no injuries.
Accident # 2
Accident # 2 of the four is the second report on the SWITRS page below, and occurred in 1996. The at-fault driver was turning left from westbound Rosecrans and hit a driver who was turning left from eastbound Rosecrans. Based upon the violation noted, CVC 21451(b) (driver turning left or making a u turn on left arrow shall yield right-of-way), the reporting officer did not believe that the at-fault driver ran a red light. The accident was a broadside with no injuries.
(Accidents # 3 & 4 are discussed below this SWITRS page.)
Accident # 3
Accident # 3 of the four is the last report on the SWITRS page below, and occurred in 1998. The at-fault driver was turning left from westbound Rosecrans and hit a driver who was proceeding straight on eastbound Rosecrans. Based upon the violation noted, CVC 21801(a) (driver turning left or making a u turn shall yield to oncoming traffic), as well as the Primary Collision Factor "r-o-w auto," the reporting officer did not believe that the at-fault driver ran a red light. The accident was a broadside with two injuries.
(Accident # 4 is discussed below this SWITRS page.)
Accident # 4
Accident # 4 of the four is the second report on the SWITRS page below, and occurred in 2002. The at-fault driver was making a northbound right turn and hit a driver who also was northbound but not turning. Based upon the violation noted, CVC 22107 (improper turn or unsafe lane change), as well as the Primary Collision Factor "improper turn," the reporting officer did not believe that the at-fault driver ran a red light. The accident was a sideswipe with no injuries.
The Other SWITRS Pages
The other six pages of the 1994 - 2004 SWITRS report are on a separate web page, at: Hawthorne Docs # 5 - more SWITRS.
2013: Review of the Accident Record for 2004 - 2011
In 2013 I reviewed the following SWITRS reports:
All Collisions, 2004
All Collisions, 2005
All Collisions, 2006
All Collisions, 2007
All Collisions, 2008
All Collisions, 2009
All Collisions, 2010
All Collisions, 2011
All Collisions, 2012 (incomplete as of July 2013, not reviewed)
In the 2004 - 2011 reports there were no collisions attributed by the police to red light running of the type monitored by cameras (northbound Hindry rolling right, westbound Rosecrans left).
RED LIGHT CAMERAS