San Rafael, CA – March 10, 2014. The City of San Rafael has decided to discontinue its red light camera enforcement program when the vendor contract expires this month.
The City began the red light camera enforcement program five years ago with the goal of improving safety for vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic by reducing red light violations in the downtown corridor. The initial camera installations were at two approaches – westbound Third Street at Irwin Street and northbound Irwin Street at Third Street. The system began with a 30-day warning period on October 31, 2009 and was fully operational one month later. Over the course of the program other intersections were considered but the City’s accident data did not support additional installations.
Last year the Police Department staff conducted a review of the program’s effectiveness. This analysis revealed that accident rates were only slightly reduced at the Third and Irwin Streets intersections and the decision was made to not renew the contract with Redflex Traffic Systems.
San Rafael is one of several cities in the Bay Area and southern California who have ended their red light camera programs. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of cities nationwide using red light cameras has decreased from a peak of 540 in 2012, to 508 in 2013, and the trend is expected to continue.