RED LIGHT CAMERAS
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City Documents - Set # 12
Culver City's Jefferson / Overland intersection with its recently-installed - and very lucrative - camera enforcement on left turns, is an excellent example of an intersection where there is scant safety justification for the use of cameras. To find out if the City considered the intersection's safety record before it installed the camera, I made a request under the California Public Records Act. (For how to do it, see Getting Records.) The City's response included the following cover letter.
The remainder of the City's response was an 8-page report, which, as the city noted in its letter, was obtained from a state agency. This type of report is called a SWITRS (Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System) report, and is provided to cities and individual citizens by the Information Services Unit of the CHP. This report was run for the City on 10/22/03, several months after the City installed the camera at the intersection.
(If you want a SWITRS 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.)
The 8-page report is a ten-year accident history for the intersection, and it shows a total of 41 accidents of all kinds (about one every 3 months). Only one of those ( 9 years ago) was caused by a driver running the left turn light. There were two other accidents caused by drivers turning left, but the primary collision factors were noted as "lane change" and "unsafe speed." The report pages containing the three accidents caused by drivers turning left are below. The other five pages of the report are on a separate web page (to reduce the size of this web page) at: Culver City Docs # 12 - cont'd.
To keep the SWITRS reports as compact as possible, they employ code letters and numbers. Some of those codes are:
Party: If an "F" appears after the party number, this is the party indicated by the officer as at fault.
Sobriety1: HNBD = had not been drinking. IMP UNK = impairment not checked or known.
Dir: Direction of travel.
SW: A = passenger car. D = pickup or panel truck. L = bicycle. N = pedestrian.
OAF1 & 2 (Other Associated Factors): A, B, C = VC section violation. E = vision obscurement. F = inattention. G = stop and go traffic. L = uninvolved vehicle. M = other. N = none apparent. O = runaway vehicle.
Ejected: 0 = not ejected. 3 = unknown.
Page 2 contains the only accident (in 10 years) caused by a driver running the left turn light. It is at the bottom of the image below. The driver was cited for VC Section 21453, running a red light.
Page 3 contains an accident caused by a driver turning left, but the Primary Collision Factor was noted as "lane change," the Collision Type was noted as "sideswipe" (both cars were in the dual westbound left turn lanes), and the driver was cited for VC Section 21658(a), failing to remain in a single lane. The details are just above the middle of the image below.
Page 5 contains an accident caused by a driver turning left, but the Primary Collision Factor was noted as "unsafe speed" and the driver was cited for VC Section 22350, unsafe speed. The other "driver," a bicyclist, also was turning left, and both drivers were eastbound. The details are just above the middle of the image below.
The other five pages of the 8-page report are on a separate web page (to reduce the size of this page) at: Culver City Docs # 12 - cont'd.