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Partnership for Advancing Road Safety Vows to Reduce Red Light Running, Speeding in North America

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PARS Executive Director David Kelly To Discuss Traffic Safety Initiatives at Lifesavers 2010 Conference in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA - April 12, 2010: The Partnership for Advancing Road Safety (PARS) has vowed to make roads safer by promoting traffic safety initiatives - including use of automated road safety cameras - that prevent injuries and decrease fatalities caused by red light runners, speeders and distracted drivers.

Reports and studies around the world show that automated road safety cameras prevent crashes and debilitating injuries. These technologies not only save lives, but they shift the cost of enforcement from the taxpayer to the violator and save millions of dollars in health care costs and property damage caused by red light runners, speeders and distracted drivers.

For example:

-- After the research organization Transportation Alternatives conducted surveys at 13 locations in all five New York City boroughs and recorded more than 15,000 motorist speeds, the first recommendation in their February 2009 report was to install speed enforcement cameras.

-- A November 2008 study conducted for the Texas Transportation Institute reported that in 56 intersections in 12 Texas cities reporting pre and post-installation crash data, there was a 30 percent decrease in annualized crashes and a 43 percent reduction in right angle crashes.

-- A January 2008 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed speed cameras in Montgomery County, Maryland were causing drivers to slow down on roads where the cameras are located and suggests that drivers in others parts of the county are slowing down in case other cameras may be nearby.

Municipalities are also touting the success of automated road safety systems:

-- Police in Aurora, IL recently reported that in the six months since intersection safety cameras were installed at three of the city's busiest intersections, traffic crashes in those intersections dropped by 43 percent.

-- The Columbus, Ohio city council is considering adding two speed safety cameras and 20 more intersection safety cameras, bringing the total to 40.

-- The Pensacola, Fl, News Journal reports that the Gulf Breeze area has seen a 20 percent reduction in the number of accidents on busy U.S. 98 since the cameras were installed five years ago.

"While a vocal minority may oppose road safety cameras, national, local and regional opinion polls including recent PARS research indicates just the opposite. A recent national opinion poll shows that 80 percent of Americans support intersection safety cameras and 67 percent support speed safety cameras," said David Kelly, executive director of PARS, at the Lifesavers 2010 Conference in Philadelphia. "Automated road safety cameras share one thing in common with other proven safety countermeasures - they save lives. And that's the message PARS intends to communicate to everyone we can reach."

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that of the 37,261 fatalities on U.S. roadways in 2008, 31 percent were speeding-related. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that the economic cost of speed-related crashes is more than $40 billion each year. NHTSA also reports that speeding now causes as many fatalities as drunk or distracted drivers.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 40 percent of all pedestrian deaths involving vehicles other than large trucks happen at intersections and 51 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes involving large trucks also occur at intersections.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 762 people were killed and an estimated 137,000 were injured in crashes that involved red-light running in 2008. About half of the deaths in red-light running crashes are pedestrians and occupants in other vehicles who are hit by red-light runners, IIHS reports.

"These numbers are staggering and demonstrate the need to move forward with new strategies that save lives," Kelly said. "PARS is looking forward to be a leading voice in the traffic safety debate. We are committed to developing and sharing best practices in traffic safety and raising awareness of the important role technology plays in enforcing the traffic laws set by the community."

About PARS
PARS represents more than 500 communities and its law enforcement agencies that are using automated road safety cameras to calm traffic and make their communities safer. Membership is open to municipalities, government officials, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens