Postprint version. Published in Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 43, Issue 3, May 1, 2011, pages 1042-1048.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Lindsey M. Higgins was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2010.12.008.
With just a few notable exceptions, research supports the concept that red light cameras (RLCs) improve safety. However, many communities that have implemented RLC programs have faced a firestorm of public opinion associated with the use of RLCS, with many communities having to remove the cameras. What makes or breaks a red light camera program? Because of the experimental design process, stated choice is recognized as a tool that can resemble a laboratory experiment for the public policy arena. In this research, a stated choice model was developed and used to explore public preferences for a RLC program through an internet survey and a convenience sample drawn from a typical college town. The results suggest while independently the opposite is true, that when there is an increase in both the fine for violators and the number of cameras together (i.e., the interaction of these two) there is a perceived public safety gain. The interacted variable positively increases utility from the selected RLCS program we analyzed and could be key in generating public support for RLC programs. The results suggest some important deterrence theory implications for improving accident prevention through the use of RLC programs that are designed to avoid unnecessary public scrutiny.