More Propaganda

The Arizona Republic propaganda machine churned out another beauty today. This one regurgitates a Tempe report that “crashes are down 16% since camera program.”

The problem is, they don’t provide any real data in the article and they don’t provide the report. PRS has requested and is waiting for a copy of the report. It’s peculiar how they boast a city-wide statistic rather than data focused on each camera location.

It’s unclear how the city came to this conclusion, but it is interesting to note data from other cities over the past 14 years. Take into account the City of Phoenix’ Motor Vehicle Collision Statistics since 1995, We have full data since for every year from 1995 to 2007. Keep in mind that during this time, the city’s population has increase immensely, and also the size of the city has grown immensely with some large annexations. In 1995 there were 34,046 collisions. There was a high of 37,635 collisions in 1999 and a low of 31,769 in 2003. Both of these years were prior to any significant camera programs. This represents a natural variation of 18.5%.

Without any further breakdown, a reasonable person can conclude that the 16% reduction Tempe is reporting is in-line with the natural variation of this statistic and cannot reasonably be attributed to cameras without further study. We’ll have to wait until we have the report available, but the numbers appear to ignore a national trend showing fewer collisions and new Arizona DUI laws and perhaps other changes in enforcement and public transportation (such as the introduction of light rail).

The three intersections reported a 0%, 5% and 17% reduction, while the whole city reduced accidents by 16%. Is it just me, or should the conclusion be that accidents increased at 2 of the intersections and stayed about the same at one of them?

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