NBC4 Investigates: Dangerous Intersections Without Red Light Cam - WCMH: News, Weather, and Sports for Columbus, Ohio

NBC4 Investigates: Dangerous Intersections Without Red Light Cameras

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

Red light cameras have been part of the Columbus infrastructure since the first ones were installed in 2006.

There are currently 38 intersections in Columbus where red light cameras have been installed, and city officials say that is enough; but some of the most dangerous intersections in Columbus don't have red light cameras installed.

The most dangerous of those intersections is Cleveland Avenue and Morse Road in north Columbus. It is ranked as one of the top five most dangerous intersections almost every year. In some years it averages nearly one crash a day.

Early in February, Ross Samuels, who is the owner of an Army/Navy Surplus store near the intersection of Morse Road and Cleveland Avenue, says his business was involved in one of the many crashes in the intersection.

"I'm sitting in my office, and we felt a rumble – an actual rumble on the building – and my employees come up to me and asked was it an earthquake? And I knew exactly what happened. I was like this is no earthquake. Sure enough, we came right outside and there was a car planted right in our building."

Number three on the list of most dangerous intersections is Hamilton Road and East Livingston Avenue.

That's where Dave Amos has spent every work day, since last summer, standing on the corner, holding a sign advertising 50 to 75 percent of furniture at the store where he works.

"You see a lot of people blowing through lights, illegal turns, a lot of people crossing against a light and you almost get run over," said Amos.

NBC4's Mike Bowersock checked the top five most dangerous intersections in the metro area, and he found that only two of them, East Dublin-Granville Road at Maple Canyon Drive, and Hamilton Road at Refugee Road, are equipped with red light cameras.

City officials tell NBC4 there are no plans at this time to install any more red light cameras in Columbus.

At South Grant Avenue and East Broad Street, where red light cameras have been installed, there have been no accidents caused by someone running a red light since the cameras were installed in 2007.

The 38 cameras already installed throughout Columbus generated more than $2 million in 2012.

So if the cameras are working so well, why isn't the city planning to install more?

The city says while red light cameras may seem like the obvious solution, this is not a case of one size fits all.

"We have to look at the data base of those crashes. Are they because people are speeding through the intersections, or is it people not stopping at the red light," said Amanda Ford, a spokesperson for the Columbus Department of Public Safety.

In the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Morse Road, most accidents do not seem to have been caused by motorists running red lights, but by too much traffic for an area that has outgrown its original design.

"A lot of times these roads were built years upon years ago so they're not accommodating to the amount of traffic on the streets today," Ford.

Morse Road has been under improvements since plans were first developed for the roadway in 2000, but the plans stop at Cleveland Avenue, just east of Morse Road.

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