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Red-Light Cameras: Bob Stein Responds, And He's Pissed

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We've heard back from Bob Stein, the Rice professor taken to task over his red-light-camera report by attorney Randall Kallinen, who's accused him of buckling under political pressure to change his findings.

Stein simply says the allegations against him are untrue.

"Read the report," he says, "and read what [Kallinen] says and you'll find out that the alleged pressure doesn't match up with the report. They are factually incorrect."

For starters, Stein says that collisions occurring more than 100 feet from the intersection were not excluded. He says it states in the report's appendices that the study relied on the 500-foot rule, and not the 100-foot distance that was suggested to Stein by city officials in the emails unearthed by the lawsuit.

Second, Stein says that he was not pressured to exclude rear-end collisions. He says all intersection collisions were included regardless of type because researchers did not rely on the cameras' photos to evidence the collisions but rather relied on police reports.

Third, Stein argues that he was misquoted when he reportedly said that "collisions are going up all over the city." This quote appeared in a January Associated Press story as well as elsewhere in the media.

It was "A complete and gross misrepresentation of the quote," says Stein. "I said, 'collisions are going up all over the city at the intersections that we studied,' not that they were going up all over the city. They in fact are going down, which is clearly demonstrated in the emails. Collisions throughout the city are not what we were studying."

Stein called the allegations "untrue, and I think that they are unfair and rush to a judgment about the quality and objectivity of our research."

In the end, though, Stein and Kallinen do have one thing in common: they both look at the report and see that red light cameras are not reducing the number of collisions.

Why?    

"I think that is a fascinating and perplexing question and we're looking into it," says Stein

-- Chris Vogel

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