Today our A1 features Rich Connell's look at the effectiveness of all those automated red light cameras positioned around Los Angeles. Here's the nut:
In Los Angeles, officials estimate that 80% of red light camera tickets go not to those running through intersections but to drivers making rolling right turns, a Times review has found.
One of the most powerful selling points for photo enforcement systems, which now monitor 175 intersections in Los Angeles County and hundreds more across the United States, has been the promise of reducing collisions caused by drivers barreling through red lights.
But it is the right-turn infraction -- a frequently misunderstood and less pressing safety concern -- that drives tickets and revenue in the nation's second-biggest city and at least half a dozen others across the county.
Our web package includes some hot tape put together by Rich, an awesome interactive explainer by Raoul Ranoa, the now perfunctory Google Map, and my own little goofy idea: portable downloads for TomTom and Garmin GPS devices (check out the roadblock halfway down the main story).
Loading the points into your device will not only map them on your dashboard monitor -- but you can also easily program your system to give you an audio warning as you approach upcoming lights. And in that same soothing computer voice that already tells you when to turn.
I'm not sure how interested readers will be in this sort of product, but it seemed like a fun experiment. And since Rich had put in a great effort collecting the data from LA's many fragmented municipalities, it seemed like we had to look for some extra yard to go for.
Any thoughts on other newspapery data projects that might work for GPS? The most dangerous intersections? The location of famous landmarks around town?