A final report given to Kansas City Police Board members Tuesday concluded that red light cameras “appear to have accomplished their intended purpose by modifying driver behavior.”
The report consisted of a narrative but no data tables. Camera-generated citations and wrecks caused by red-light running have both declined, according to the report.
The report noted that rear-end crashes, which represent the most common type of accident, increased two years after the cameras were installed. The report blamed “inattention of drivers” for the increase and cited several statements from drivers regarding why they weren’t paying attention such as “looked down at her drink,” “looked down to get his cellphone,” and “eating peanut butter and crackers to help keep him awake.”
There was no discussion of the findings at Tuesday’s Police Board meeting.
Pat McInerney, a board member whose term as president expired Tuesday, said the final report was included in board members’ packets but not listed on the agenda because board members already had heard a presentation from police about it.
“Each commissioner had the information and there weren’t any questions,” he said.
Police originally presented a data-laden report in January with information from 2,500 wrecks. It showed that overall wrecks, injury wrecks and rear-end wrecks had increased at the 17 camera-controlled intersections two years after the cameras were installed.
At that meeting, board members deferred a planned discussion, saying they wanted more information and more time to study the police analysis.
The final report released Tuesday was written by police with help from American Traffic Solutions, the private company that has a $1.6 million annual contract with the city to run the camera program.
Also on Tuesday, Police Board members elected Lisa Pelofsky as the board’s new president.