A study released this week by the state Department of Transportation shows mixed results for intersections outfitted with red light enforcement cameras.
The study, mandated under the law that has temporarily allowed the use of the controversial cameras, looked at two different types of accidents: right angle crashes and same direction crashes. Colloquially, right angle crashes are known as "t-bone" crashes and same direction crashes are known as "rear end" crashes.
Red light cameras, such as the ones set up at three major intersections in Brick, are meant to reduce right angle crashes, but have been said to slightly to moderately increase same direction crashes.
The study showed significant a decrease in crashes at two intersections, both in Newark, where there were two full years of data. Specifically, there was a 57 percent overall decrease at those two intersections – an 86 percent reduction in right angle crashes and a 42 percent reduction in same direction crashes.
But the data showed that in the wider study of all the state's red light camera intersections with one-year data, the total number of accidents was up slightly, from 577 in the year before the cameras were installed to 582 the first year.
At the 24 specific intersections studied, right-angle crashes decreased by 15 percent, but same direction crashes increased to the tune of 20 percent during the first year cameras were installed.
The number of summonses being generated by red light cameras went down over time, the study said. Month-to-month citations decreased by 50 percent at intersections studied in the wider, one-year sample. At the small, two intersection sample of two-year data, the number of citations generated between the first month and month 24 were down a staggering 85 percent.
Brick Township has three intersections – Route 70 and Chambers Bridge Road; Route 70 and Brick Boulevard; and Brick Boulevard and Hooper Avenue – with cameras installed.
A Brick-specific study released in March 2012 showed that the number of right-angle crashes was cut in half in 2011 compared with 2010. The number of same direction accidents remained virtually flat, rising from 13 to 14.
About 70 percent of the summonses generated by the Brick cameras were issued to non-residents, the data showed.