Revenue or Safety?

While the effectiveness of photo enforcement is questionable, one thing that is undeniable is the amount of cash they generate. Many municipalities generate thousands and sometimes millions from these machines, the party that always wins is the camera vendor. Below is evidence that we have found that photo enforcement really is all about the money.


Christie: Red light cameras ‘a money grab’ for municipalities

Sep 18, 2014 NJ1015.com - Article

Excerpts:

Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday he is leaning against any extension or expansion of New Jersey’s unpopular red light camera pilot program when it ends in December.

Most “disturbing,” Christie said, were indications that the program appeared to have become “an opportunity for municipalities to grab money.”

Responding to questions on Townsquare New Jersey’s “Ask the Governor” program, said he wasn’t so much changing his mind about the program as reacting to the results of the test.

Mayor cheers as city rakes in $9.15M off 6 speed cams

Sep 2, 2014 NY Post - Article

Excerpts:

Mayor de Blasio revealed Tuesday that the city had collected an astonishing $9.15 million since January from $50 fines generated by speed cameras around public schools.

The fine revenue is nearly four times the $2.5 million estimate the city had projected last September, when the cameras were first authorized.

Anger over speed cameras

May 15, 2014 Yahoo - Article

Video:

None of Adelaide’s top 10 speed camera locations in 2014 are on the state’s Black Spot Program

May 7, 2014 Perth Now - Article

Excerpts:

MORPHETT VALE, Nuriootpa and North Adelaide are Adelaide’s mobile speed camera hot spots.

But mobile speed camera locations across Adelaide that are most popular with police do not include the state government’s road safety black spots.

Speed crackdown looks like cash grab

Apr 10, 2014 Edmonton Journal - Article

Excerpts:

On photo radar, however, council is in danger of blowing it, mainly because most councillors have failed to even notice, let alone question, a major change in public policy, the city’s massive new crackdown on speed limits.

The crackdown has come because of better equipment, more rigorous enforcement on high-collision areas, but also because of less tolerance for anyone travelling marginally over the speed limit.

The crackdown represents an abrupt departure. To get and keep public support for photo radar, Edmonton police had for years only targeted hardcore speeders, those more than 15 km/h over the speed limit. But in the past year, after city authorities took over photo radar from the police, drivers have suddenly been getting tickets for smaller infractions. Drivers going safely with the flow of traffic are now getting hit in places like Scona Road.

The result? Photo radar revenues have doubled in a single year, going from an average of $18.8 million per year to $41 million in 2013.

Mayor Gray Proposes More Speed Cams to Balance Budget

Apr 7, 2014 CSNWashington.com - Article

Excerpts:

More roadside speed cameras could be Washington D.C.'s future as Mayor Vincent Gray's new budget calls for the city to collect an additional $50 million in speeding fines over the coming year. One council member called it "gotcha" government.

Edmonton raked in $41.3 million from photo radar and red-light camera violations in 2013

Mar 12, 2014 Edmonton Journal - Article

Excerpts:

A big jump in photo-enforcement ticket revenue helped Edmonton post a $9.2-million surplus last year, but Mayor Don Iveson doesn’t think the city is milking a cash cow.

The city thought it would bring in $30.1 million from photo radar and red-light cameras in 2013, but actually raised $41.3 million, mainly because of new hand-held laser equipment, according to a report.

Reader's Watchdog: Traffic cameras net $19.7 million

Mar 10, 2014 Des Moines Register - Article

Excerpts:

Tickets from automatic traffic cameras totaled $19.7 million for nine Iowa cities during the last fiscal year, but more than 34 percent of that money went to out-of-state vendors.

Traffic camera revenues top $6 million, city keeps $2.6 million

Mar 2, 2014 Oak Ridge Today - Article

Excerpts:

The four traffic camera systems in Oak Ridge have generated more than $6 million in ticket revenues during a roughly five-year period. The city has kept $2.6 million of that, while the camera vendor has collected the other $3.6 million.

Northumberland speed cameras used as money making tool

Feb 23, 2014 The Telegraph - Article

Excerpts:

Placing mobile speed cameras on stretches of road without a history of frequent accidents is like "shooting fish in a barrel", one of the country’s most senior police officers has admitted.

The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (Asps) suggested tactics such as parking mobile camera vans on a bridge above stretches of motorway, such as the M9 approaching Stirling, is more likely to raise money than save lives.

Driver forced to pay for evidence in his Chesapeake red-light camera case

Feb 20, 2014 WTKR - Article

Excerpts:

Chesapeake, Va. – Larry Richway says he was not the one driving his car, but he still got slapped with a $50 ticket after his Dodge Magnum was caught by a red-light camera at the corner of Greenbrier Parkway and Kempsville Road in Chesapeake.

“I didn’t have the car for three days while they were working on it,” said Richway, who says it was a dealership who had the car, looking into a possible engine problem.

Richway assumes they were out test driving it at the time, to make sure everything was fixed.

"They have no picture of me driving the car, and I have no clue who was driving the car," said Richway.

Yet now, the burden is on him to prove it in court.

Northumberland speed cameras used as money making tool

Dec 9, 2013 The Journal - Article

Excerpts:

Mobile speed cameras are being used as a money making tool rather than to improve road safety, politicians have claimed.

Coun Glen Sanderson, deputy leader of the Conservative group on Northumberland County Council, and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the party’s parliamentary candidate for the Berwick seat, spoke out after releasing information which showed mobile cameras had not been used on one of the county’s worst roads in a six-month period.

Their concerns were heightened by the fact cameras had been employed 18 times this year on a quieter road out of a town centre with a “very small accident rate,” none of which they claimed appeared speed-related.

Cameras to earn millions of dollars from speeding South Australian drivers on South Eastern freeway

Nov 1, 2013 Herald Sun - Article

Excerpts:

NEW speed cameras will be used on the South Eastern Freeway within weeks, potentially reaping millions of dollars in fines from the 10 per cent of drivers who are speeding on the motorway.

City expects millions from school speed cameras

Sep 5, 2013 KIRO TV - Article

Excerpts:

An estimated $14.8 million will be generated by speed cameras near Seattle public schools, and the cameras have generated more money than expected since their installation near four schools last November.

NSW govt using speed cameras for cash

Aug 16, 2013 Irish Times - Article

Excerpts:

The NSW government is using speed cameras for "blatant revenue-raising" and is hiding it from the public by refusing to publish an audit into their use, the opposition says.

An extra 109 fixed speed cameras and 39 mobile speed cameras were installed across NSW during the past year, opposition roads spokesman Ryan Park said.

This earned the state a record $102 million in fines up from $76 million the previous year, he added.

And the government is trying to keep their use from public scrutiny by withholding the release of the annual speed camera audit, Mr Park said.

Red Light Cameras Investigated: Florida's right turn trap

July 26, 2013 WTSP - Article

Excerpts:

TAMPA BAY, Florida -- Cities and counties aren't just using short yellow lights to rack up millions of dollars in extra red light camera tickets in Florida; some are also using stricter-than-intended enforcement to issue rolling right tickets to safe drivers.

€2.3m profit for speed van consortium

July 20, 2013 Irish Times - Article

Excerpts:

The Xavier McAuliffe-led consortium that operates the army of speed camera vans across the country recorded operating profits of almost €50,000 per week last year.

The Go Safe consortium secured the €80 million Garda Síochána contract to operate the speed camera vans in 2009. New accounts show the firm recorded operating profits of €3.12 million in the 15 months to the end of March 31st, 2012 – or on average €48,001 per week.

Seattle deciding how to spend wave of cash from school speed cameras

July 9, 2013 Kirotv.com - Article

Excerpts:

SEATTLE — Seattle is riding a wave of cash from speed cameras in four school zones. The City Council is touting the results. And city leaders are trying to expand the program as they figure out how to spend $4 million more in ticket revenue than anticipated.

How Ohio profits from dangerous intersections

July 2, 2013 Watchdog.Org - Article

Excerpts:

Since 2001, when Toledo became one of the first Midwestern cities to install red light cameras, we’ve been told it was all about safety. Any revenue associated with making dangerous intersections safer was an unintended bonus.

Despite clear advice from experts in traffic safety, Toledo has never conducted a traffic engineering study of the numerous intersections they say are so dangerous. In this latest vote, they placed the cameras at intersections were violations were “likely.”

Why did they want the extra cameras? To raise $320,000 to fund the city’s recreation department.

£1.6m from 'safe' road speed trap

Jun 27, 2013 Express.co.uk - Article

Excerpts:

ONE of Britain’s biggest earning speed cameras has raked in £1.6million – on a road that has had just one serious crash, it emerged yesterday.

The device, on New Road in Worcester, caught 22,942 drivers between 2004 and 2012, equal to around seven every day. But just one person was badly injured there in that time.

Motorist Stewart Williams, 28, of Worcester, said: “The cameras are purely about greed.

Three golden miles net D.C. $28 million

May 27, 2013 Washington Post - Article

Excerpts:

There are seasons when New York Avenue seems pocked with potholes, but for the District it is paved with gold.

It likely is one of the most lucrative streets in the world when it comes to collecting a hidden toll in traffic tickets, its gantlet of speed and red-light cameras taking in an average of $30,570 a day and a total of more than $28 million since the start of fiscal 2011.

Florida quietly shortened yellow light standards & lengths, resulting in more red light camera tickets for you

May 14, 2013 WTSP - Article

Excerpts:

TAMPA BAY, Fla. -- A subtle, but significant tweak to Florida's rules regarding traffic signals has allowed local cities and counties to shorten yellow light intervals, resulting in millions of dollars in additional red light camera fines.

70% of UK drivers say speed cameras only exist to make money

Apr 23, 2013 Fleet News - Article

Excerpts:

More than 19 million (70%) of UK motorists feel that speed cameras only exist to make money, not to prevent accidents, according to a new study by comparison site Gocompare.com.

Speed cameras generate $25m over three years

Apr 17, 2013 ABC News - Article

Excerpts:

Red light and speed cameras have generated more than $25 million in revenue for the ACT Government over the past three years.

In 2010, 49 cameras across the Territory raised around $9 million, around $8.3 million in 2011 and $8.1 million in 2012.

And this isn't revenue raising?

Feb 19, 2013 Daily Advertiser - Article

Excerpts:

THE tactics employed by operators of mobile speed cameras in Wagga at the weekend has left some motorists convinced their presence isn't about road safety but raising revenue.

On at least two occasions, signs warning motorists of the presence of the mobile speed camera were obscured by parked vehicles which has prompted member for Wagga Daryl Maguire to raise the issue with Roads Minister Duncan Gay.

Under the NSW Speed Camera Strategy released in June last year, mobile speed camera signs and vehicle markings were enhanced and the number of warning signs doubled to make enforcement more visible to motorists.

But close inspection and documentation by a number of Wagga motorists at the weekend has highlighted the fact the warning signs were placed in locations not readily visible by approaching motorists.

Red Light Cameras Make Millions

Feb 18, 2013 NBCDFW.com - Article

Excerpts:

One camera at northbound Cooper and Pioneer Parkway in Arlington dished out $2.5 million in red light tickets in just four years.

In the City of Fort Worth, records show cameras have generated $23 million. The top money maker is on the West Freeway Frontage Road at Ashland Avenue, bringing in $1.7 million since 2008.

But some e-mails obtained by NBC5 Investigates raise questions about whether some city officials are more interested in reducing crashes, or collecting millions of dollars to fill gaps in city budgets.

Through an open records request, NBC 5 Investigates obtained a Dallas City Hall e-mail string talking about red light camera revenue.

Red light, speed cameras put $1.6M in Des Moines coffers

Jan 18, 2013 DesMoinesRegsiter.com - Article

Excerpts:

The city of Des Moines collected more than $2.7 million in 2012 from red light and speed cameras operated in seven locations in the city.

D.C.’s speed camera cash skyrocketed in 2012

Jan 10, 2013 Washington Times - Article

Excerpts:

The District’s automated traffic enforcement program increased its revenue by more than 100 percent from 2011 to 2012, jumping from $42.9 million to $95.6 million, according to figures released Thursday by the city.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair: Bring back photo radar to save cash

Jan 8, 2013 TheStar.com - Article

Excerpts:

As Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair searches for ways to save his force money, he says it’s time to consider reintroducing photo radar and expanding red light cameras.

Md. audit cites loss of potential speed-camera revenue

Nov. 28, 2012 Washington Post - Article

Excerpts:

The Maryland State Highway Administration’s failure to ensure the reliability of speed cameras in highway work zones cost the state $850,000 in potential revenue because tens of thousands of violations during the program’s first nine months did not result in tickets, according to a state audit.

The audit found that the highway administration did not run comprehensive tests to make sure the cameras were accurate and that it otherwise failed to make sure the cameras met performance requirements.

Photo radar could make Winnipeg record profits if 7-year deal OK’ed

Nov. 18, 2012 Winnipeg Sun - Article

Excerpts:

The city of Winnipeg stands to make record profits from a new digital photo enforcement system if city hall approves a proposed seven-year contract with Edmonton-based ACS Public Sector Solutions.

According to a report the city’s protection and community services committee will review Monday, the city’s photo enforcement profits will immediately jump to an estimated $6 million next year under the new system, up from $3.72 million in 2011.

City finally admits that photo radar about money, not safety

Nov. 15, 2012 Winnipeg Sun - Article

Excerpts:

It took eight years but the bureaucrats at city hall have finally admitted in writing what we’ve been telling you all along: photo radar is about the money, not safety.

In a report to the city’s protection and community services committee recommending city hall renew its photo enforcement contract, the city’s bean counters rejected the option of adding more traffic cops to the streets as an alternative to photo enforcement because they say it would cut into the city’s traffic enforcement profits. They drew that conclusion even though they admit in the report that real cops on the streets provide a greater presence and allow better coverage of the city than photo enforcement.

D.C. rakes in $85m from traffic cameras

Oct. 18, 2012 WashingtonExaminer.com - Article

Excerpts:

The District took in nearly $85 million in its most recent fiscal year from its sprawling network of speed and red-light cameras, shattering its previous record and inflaming an ongoing debate about ticket-based fines.

According to statistics from the District's chief financial officer, the city collected $84.9 million in "automated traffic enforcement" revenues through the end of September, when the city's 2012 fiscal year concluded.

Mayor Gray says show me the money to speed camera reduction proposal

Oct. 17, 2012 WJLA - Article

Excerpts:

Yesterday, Councilmembers Mary Cheh, Tommy Wells and Marion Barry introduced a bill to reduce the fines from automated enforcement devices to $50 or less. There are some exceptions. Red light runners and speeders going 20 mph or more over the limit would not be privy to the reduced fine.

But Gray says to gain his support, someone would have to demonstrate how the changes would be paid for. That led some reporters to question whether the camera program is more about revenue than about public safety.

St. Louis County Police Chief Says Speeding Cameras Like ATMs

Sep. 27, 2012 Fox2Now.com - Article

Excerpts:

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI)– St. Louis County’s top cop says speed cameras are usually a scam and that county voters should decide whether to outlaw them.

Officials from cities that use speeding cameras say they’re used for safety. County Police Chief Tim Fitch says they’re actually more like ATM’s.

City gets nearly $20 million from speed camera tickets, irritating critics (Was: City gets extra $4.2 million from speed cameras)

Sep. 11, 2012 BaltimoreSun.com - Article

Excerpts:

Baltimore got nearly $20 million in revenue from speed cameras over the past year — a higher-than- expected figure that is sparking debate over the accuracy of the city's budget projections and whether the camera program is more a cash cow than a safety measure.

The city took in a total of $19.2 million from the devices in the past fiscal year, which is $2.5 million more than the year before and about $4 million more than expected. The Rawlings-Blake administration revealed the windfall in documents to be given to the city's spending board Wednesday.

Drivers ticketed by red light camera in Mesa at confusing intersection

Aug. 16, 2012 AZFamily.com - Article

Excerpts:

"I just think that people need to be aware that supposedly there is a different kind of intersection here where they have a demarcation line. It doesn't seem fair to me," said Davis.

This intersection near Mesa Community College and Banner Medical Center is one of the busiest in the city.


French speed cameras pull in multimillion cash haul

Aug. 11, 2012 France24.com - Article

Excerpt:

Speed cameras on French roads have been on the increase since they were introduced in 2003, nearly halving the number of driving fatalities and earning an astounding €700 million in fines. But despite the impressive numbers, not everyone is happy.

Automated Traffic Enforcement – Safety or Revenue?

Jun. 28, 2012 Fairfax News - Article

Excerpt:

As automated traffic enforcement spreads throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, there are growing concerns that the red-light cameras, speed cameras and other automated devices have the potential to be abused by revenue-hungry states and cities.

Speed camera revenue to buoy failing property taxes in Morningside budget

Jun. 20, 2012 Gazette.Net - Article

Excerpt:

The Morningside Town Council approved its fiscal 2013 budget Tuesday night, keeping spending level despite falling tax revenues, thanks in part to revenues from speed cameras in town.

Red light cameras about safety? Really?

Jun. 11, 2012 Winnipeg Sun - Article

Excerpt:

If photo enforcement is all about improving the safety of our streets and highways, wouldn’t it make sense for the program to target intersections that have among the highest collisions in the city?

After all, photo enforcement is supposed to be about reducing crashes and injuries. But according to Manitoba Public Insurance’s most recent, up-to-date collision data prepared for the Winnipeg Sun, the vast majority of red-light cameras are not located in high-collision areas.

District rakes in a record $55 million from red-light, speed cameras

Jun. 7, 2012 Washington Post - Article

Excerpt:

The District’s use of cameras to catch speeders and red light runners reaped a record $55.1 million in 2011, and the city is likely to generate even more fees this year, the AAA said Thursday.

Police Unions, For-Profit Traffic Light Companies Lobby To Set Up Red Light Cameras For Revenue Not Public Safety

Jun. 5, 2012 OpEdNews.com - Article

Excerpt:

Many areas of the country are experiencing a sudden rise in the number of speed and traffic cameras installed near roads. While some cameras have been a welcome development in curbing dangerous driving, many motorists have complained about what they perceive as an effort by authorities to simply extract revenue without community input on such policies. Growing evidence that many privatized traffic companies use faulty information, including right- hand turns, to assign red light tickets has only added to the anger. As legislators confront the backlash, a self- interested partnership has formed to lobby against accountability methods for these cameras: police unions and for- profit red-light camera companies.

Eye on fines, not safety

May. 20, 2012 Daily Telegraph - Article

Excerpt:

But NRMA traffic and safety adviser Mark Wolstenholme has called for a full review of the entire system, saying in many cases it's not motorists deliberately running red lights, but rather poor traffic light positioning and overhead signage that has led to a spate of bookings.

"We want the Roads and Maritime Services to go to the sites and address the problem, not just collect the fines.

"The government is sitting behind a desk counting the crashes and then installing a camera to fix the problem -- well, it's not fixing the problem," he said.

Calls for red light camera review

May. 13, 2012 ABC.net.au - Article

Excerpts:

The New South Wales Government insists its network of red light cameras will remain in place, as figures are released showing they are a growing source of revenue.

Motorists are paying tens of millions of dollars for red light offences.

The Government removed nearly 40 speed cameras last year after an audit found they did not improve road safety.

Forget public safety. Traffic cameras are about the money

May. 2, 2012 WJLA - Article

Excerpt:

When a politician tells you it's not about the money, it's about the money.

Remember back to 2008, when former Mayor Larry Langford tried to convince the Birmingham City Council to hire Redflex Traffic Systems to catch the city's traffic scofflaws? For a cut of the take, that company would set up cameras at busy intersections, send out tickets to offenders and leave the city nothing to do but rake in cash.

Glenarden speed cameras placed in areas without schools

Apr. 27, 2012 WJLA - Article

Excerpt:

In Prince George's County, speed cameras can be placed in school zones to catch people driving well over the 25 MPH speed limit. That's why the city of Glenarden placed two on a stretch of Glenarden Parkway.

However, there's one rather noticeable thing missing on that street - a school. There's a library and an aquatic center, but no campus.

"This is making a mockery of the school zone," AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Lon Anderson said.

City cashes in on traffic cams

Apr. 15, 2012 Dayton Daily News - Article

Excerpt:

Red light cameras, which are banned in some parts of the country, have become an increasingly lucrative source of revenue for the city of Dayton now that it is using cameras to catch speeders and towing drivers with multiple outstanding tickets.

Last February, the most recent month data is available, Dayton received $144,019 in red-light camera ticket collections, according to city records. That’s twice as much as it took in for all of 2010.

Stop-Sign Cameras Ticket 70,000 in Los Angeles Parks

Mar. 15, 2012 LAWeekly.com - Article

Excerpt:

Today, that money flows like honey to the MRCA, now surpassing $2 million annually and comprising 8 percent of its $29 million budget in 2010.

The ticketing and revenue numbers are huge, given that just seven cameras are involved. By comparison, the now-defunct L.A. city red-light cameras, which had been turned on at 32 heavily trafficked urban intersections, produced about 40,000 tickets per year.

Protecting that income has become important to authority executive director Joseph T. Edmiston. In 2010, Edmiston won a special exemption from California law so that the mountains authority — alone among local California agencies — can set its own traffic rules, hold its own initial traffic hearings and then collect the money.

California: City May Renew Traffic Cameras at Safe Intersection

Feb. 13, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

The city council in Hawthorne, California later today will consider whether to renew its contract for operating red light cameras. Local activists are urging members to drop the program, citing evidence that it is not possible for photo enforcement to reduce the number of accidents in the city.

Hawthorne allowed Redflex Traffic Systems, an Australian company, to set up and operate cameras at four locations in 2004. At the time, city officials insisted the tickets, now worth $480 each, would reduce the number of collisions related to red light running at those locations. As Safer Streets LA Executive Director Jay Beeber discovered, the intersections selected for the program had no red light running collision problem.

Designed to slow speeders or raise revenue?

Mar. 9, 2012 WJLA

Video:

Road safety requires more than red-light cameras

Mar. 6, 2012 Napa Valley Register - Article

Excerpt:

The original Red-Light Photo Enforcement Agreement signed by the Napa Police Department states specifically that the program was intended as a traffic safety program, intended to reduce hazardous conditions, not to generate revenue. It also states that: "Upon adoption of the contract, the Police Department and Redflex will collaborate to develop a public awareness campaign ... that will include a series of community workshops aimed at informing the public about the dangers of red-light violations."

Out of curiosity, and after calls made to five different city and county agencies, not one single individual knew of the existence of an educational program, not even the officer in charge of the Red-Light Photo Enforcement Department of the NPD. Why bother? The money was rolling in.

Prince George's lawmaker says speed cameras being used to drum up revenue

Feb. 27, 2012 Washington Examiner - Article

Excerpt:

A Maryland lawmaker fears the state's speed cameras are being abused in an effort to generate more revenue, as programs in Prince George's and Montgomery counties expand.

Howard testified before a House of Delegates committee that she overheard a conversation in a county meeting related to moving speed cameras.

"A government official made a statement that speed cameras were going to be moved so they could generate more revenue," Howard said. "That was not the purpose of the bill when it was passed."

Maryland Brings in $19 Million in Work Zone Speed Cameras

Feb. 17, 2012 Fairfax News - Article

Excerpt:

Although ticketed motorists might disagree, it was a banner year for Maryland’s work zone speed camera program. In its third year of operation, the Maryland SafeZones automated speed enforcement program generated nearly a half million citations to motorists going at least 12 miles per hour over the posted construction zone speed limit during 2011, notes AAA Mid-Atlantic. The face value of the 473,708 citations is $18.9 million.

..."Based upon a previous study, 63 percent of the work zone tickets were issued when workers were not present in the work zone, according to the chief sponsor of the Senate bill. However, similar bills to this effect have met with defeat in the past."

New cameras could make $4m from speeding drivers in first month

Feb. 17, 2012 Sydney Morning Herald - Article

Excerpt:

Point-to-point cameras could earn the ACT Government more than $4 million in the first month of operations, according to statistics gathered during the testing period.

Photo Enforcement Salesman Focuses on Revenue Generation

Feb. 3, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

Companies that operate red light and speed cameras are always looking for receptive city councilmen willing to sign up for automated ticketing services. The general public rarely has the opportunity to review the pitch these firms make behind closed doors, as it is often contrary to the message they present to the general public. This turned out to be the case after a salesman at an upstart photo enforcement provider B and W Sensors decided to email a member of the Arnold, Missouri city council.

"Is it about the money?" Baine wrote in a September 20 email. "Of course it is. It just isn't coming from where the angry crowd had anticipated. And therefore the political will is with you. This pro-active position will support and protect your decision making process and provide real dollar returns back to your community."

Cunning road traps with speed cameras to cost motorists $200m in fines

Jan. 24, 2012 Daily Telegraph - Article

Excerpt:

DRIVERS will pay close to $200 million in fines for speeding, red light and mobile phone offences in 2012, new statistics reveal.

Motorists paid $177 million in fines last year, up $7 million from the year before, despite the state government turning off 38 cameras that were deemed to be "cash cows."

Traffic cameras are about money, not public safety

Jan. 19, 2012 WashingtonExaminer.com - Article

Excerpt:

Public safety is invariably invoked by local officials to justify the proliferation of red light and speed cameras in the Washington metropolitan area.

But such conventional wisdom is wrong, James Walker, spokesman for the Wisconsin-based National Motorists Association, told The Washington Examiner. By interfering with the free flow of traffic, cameras actually create additional traffic hazards.

Texas: Top State Senator Says Red Light Cameras About Money

Jan. 17, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

The most senior Texas state lawmaker admitted last week that he voted to save red light camera programs even though he knew they had no effect on public safety. State Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston), who was first elected to the legislature in 1973, appeared on KTRH radio's morning news program to discuss how public opposition to red light cameras persuaded legislators to devote some of the camera profit to trauma centers.

Red Light Cameras Ticketing Drivers Who Stop at Lights

Jan. 12, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

Cities around the country have begun dropping the use of red light cameras,which were once touted as the best way to stop drivers from "blowing through" red lights. Disappointed municipal officials invariably point to the systems' failure to generate the promised amount of revenue as the reason for the change. To keep from losing more clients, the red light camera industry's latest move has been to ticket drivers who stop at red lights to boost the number of potential violations.

Speed cameras raked in €630m

Jan 6, 2012 Connexion France - Article

Excerpt:

SPEED camera fines generated €630 million in 2011, the latest figures show.

The announcement was made by Interior Minister Claude Guéant, who also gave road accident figures and rounded up new road safety rules. It comes as a ban on electronic equipment for warning drivers of cameras comes into force.

Owen Courreges: The inner workings of the speed traps

Jan 2, 2012 Uptown Messenger - Article

Excerpt:

The Times-Picayune observed that another intersection with an abnormally high number of citations is Jackson Avenue at Chestnut Street, which has a 25 mph speed limit even though the speed limit on most large divided streets is 35 mph.

None of this should come as a surprise to anybody who has actually been paying attention to the debate over automated traffic enforcement. There is every indication that the cameras are designed for the sole purpose of generating revenue. Any consideration for safety is a secondary concern.

However, the real reason these cameras can continue to exist is because the city has made the decision to deny any kind of procedural protection to anybody who anybody who challenges a citation. It’s essentially impossible to get your money back, even if the ticket is bogus...

Maryland Mobile Work Zone Speed Cameras Generates $31M in Fines Over Last 2 1/2 Years

Dec 12, 2011 MyFOXdc.com - Article

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON - The numbers are in for the speed cameras along the Capital Beltway. More than 21,000 drivers have been ticketed in three months.

All told, the Maryland State Highway Administration's work zone cameras have generated $31 million in fines in the last two and a half years -- and the newest work zone is quite active.

Carroll: Put a stop to red-light cameras

Nov. 9, 2011 Denver Post - Article

Excerpt:

Denver has a new mayor, newly named police chief and a council with six new members. Maybe it's time for all of them to take a fresh look at the city's photo radar program, which is apparently issuing thousands of tickets every year that have nothing to do with public safety.

Study: Red-Light Cameras Are About Profit, Not Safety

Oct 28, 2011 KOAT - Article

Excerpt:

A new study claims red-light camera companies care more about their bottom line than the safety of drivers.

The study comes after Albuquerque residents voted to give red-light cameras the boot, but the City Council still has to decide if the cameras will come down.

Saint Pete Covers Light Timers to Boost Red Light Cameras Revenue

Oct 27, 2011

Despite recession, Star Valley banks $3M

Oct 21, 2011 Payson Roundup - Article

Excerpt:

Without photo enforcement, however, Star Valley would not have its financial standing today.

Although unpredictable, the cameras supply a steady stream of income where most towns rely on state-shared revenues, sales tax collections and property tax.

Peter Edridge: Turn lane's red-light camera is a golden goose

Oct 2, 2011 Redding.com - Article

Excerpt:

If you drive in Redding you are already a part of the scheme, though not exactly on the receiving end of the deal. You will be doing your part when you are fined $459 by the Red-light Automated Camera System at North Market Street, as you turn right onto Lake Boulevard. The camera stationed at the intersection could better be described as the Golden Goose, because it continues to give and give — money that is, your money, to the camera's operator, Redflex, and to a line of eagerly outstretched hands from Sacramento to City Hall.

Carroll: Photo-radar cash cows

Sep 18, 2011 DenverPost.com - Article

Excerpt:

I pass this stretch of road only on the occasional Saturday, and not once in recent months have I seen any construction to justify the 25 mph "work zone" speed limit. And yet nearly every time, a photo-radar van would be hunkered down on the west side, picking off one unsuspecting mark after another for having the nerve to drive in the 30s on a stretch of road where such speeds would seem to be as threatening as a scooter.

Photo radar here to stay

Sep 15, 2011 660News.com - Article

Excerpt:

It doesn't look like Calgary will be rid of photo radar any time soon.

Alderman Diane Colley-Urquhart, who also sits on the Calgary Police Commission, tells The Calgary Sun it would be hard to replace the $40-million in annual revenue it generates.

Speed camera revenue on pace to reach $2 million

Aug 23, 2011 Sioux City Journal - Article

Excerpt:

SIOUX CITY - The City of Sioux City is on pace to earn an estimated $2 million from Interstate 29 speed camera fines for the 2012 budget.

Emails raise questions about city's dependancy on cameras

Aug 19, 2011 Q13Fox.com - Article

Excerpt:

For years, Lynnwood city officials maintained the cameras were installed for safety. Now, hundreds of emails between city staffers and the red-light camera company, Phoenix-based ATS, are raising eyebrows.

Senior police administrators admit losing income from using the cameras would leave a "big hole" in their budget and could lead to more lay-offs.

"The millions of dollars that it brings in each year have been put into the general fund and is financing the city," Jim Smith, a Lynnwood city councilmember said.

Victorian Government's speed camera cash cows

Aug 22, 2011 NY Daily News - Article

Excerpt:

New York's driver nanny cams are working, generating more than $52 million in fines last year from unsuspecting motorists who blew through red lights while the cameras were rolling, records show.

Victorian Government's speed camera cash cows

Aug 18, 2011 Herald Sun - Article

Excerpt:

MORE than 1.3 million motorists paid almost $250 million in speed and red light camera fines in the past year.

That boosted State Government coffers by $475 for every minute of 2010-11.

Figures obtained by the Herald Sun reveal most motorists were fined for doing less than 10km/h over the limit.

Bluff City officials enjoying $1.6M revenue from speed cameras

Aug 6, 2011 The Republic - Article

Excerpt:

BLUFF CITY, Tenn. — Bluff City officials are enjoying the extra revenue from speed cameras that have generated more than $1.6 million in a little over a year, but the windfall could be short-lived.

Red-light enforcement brings towns big bucks

Jun 28, 2011 Asbury Park Press - Article

Excerpt:

In Brick, for instance, the number of accidents at one intersection actually increased in the first year the cameras were operating. There also was an increase in the town’s coffers. After the state and the vendor got their fees, Brick still had well over $500,000 in revenue, which the town administrator said was used to offset property taxes.

Statistics from municipalities with cameras running the longest do not show a significant decline in accidents at those intersections. Officials say the idea is to change the behavior of drivers. "The plan is to reduce the serious crashes at those intersections where traditional traffic enforcement is not possible," said John Rein, a police captain in Brick, the first New Jersey municipality to have a red-light camera in operation.

Red Light Cameras Could Ticket One Driver Per Minute

Jun. 15, 2011

Watch News Video

Star Valley has rosy budget for coming year

Jun. 14, 2011 Payson Roundup - Article

Excerpt:

With a $1.2 million rainy day fund, a projected $120,000 increase in photo enforcement revenue and state shared proceeds remaining steady; the town is well positioned to take on any new projects.

The town’s general fund has so far spent $1.75 million out of the $2.52 million budgeted.

Next year, the town is budgeting $870,000 in photo enforcement revenue, a $120,000 increase over this year’s adopted budget, but $167,000 less than what the town took in two years ago.

Photo radar cash cow a cash grab

Jun. 12, 2011 Winnipeg Sun - Article

Excerpt:

There may be no clear evidence that photo enforcement is making city streets safer. But there’s oodles of data that shows it’s a financial windfall for government and the large, for-profit corporation that runs photo enforcement in Winnipeg.Photo radar and red-light cameras took in a whopping $10.2 million in 2010, according to the city’s 2010 photo enforcement annual report.

Red Light Camera Revenue has Increased 419 percent since 2008

May. 4, 2011 The Pelican Post - Article

Excerpt:

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The New Orleans Annual Operating Budget indicates that the city government has increased its reliance on revenue from red light and speed cameras to cover holes in the operating budget. Revenue from red light cameras, for example, has increased from $3.4 million in 2008 to a projected $18 million in 2011, an increase of 419 percent.

South Carolina: Internal Emails Reveal Speed Trap Profit Motive

Apr. 20, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

An ongoing federal lawsuit against the speed trap town of Ridgeland, South Carolina uncovered internal emails last month that shed light on the motivation behind the state's only photo enforcement program. Since July 2010, Ridgeland has allowed the private firm iTraffic to operate a mobile speed camera van on Interstate 95, despite a state law outlawing the practice and a pair of attorney general opinions warning that the photo ticketing was not legal.

Speed cameras yield $2.4M

Apr. 20, 2011 DiamondBackOnline.com - Article

Excerpt:

According to city officials, revenue from the four cameras totaled about $2.4 million as of 10 days ago. City Director of Finance Steve Groh said the city will most likely have between $350,000 and $600,000 to spend after funds from that pool are deducted to pay the camera operating company and Prince George's County Police for certifying speeding citations.

Because state law mandates the money from speed camera citations be put toward funding public safety projects, College Park City Council members used last night's meeting to suggest such revenue uses, including installing security cameras around the city and improving street lighting.

Photo radar warning signs removed from medians: WiseUp Winnipeg

Apr. 1, 2011 Winnipeg Sun - Article

Excerpt:

City hall is reaching to dirty new lows in an effort to trap drivers into speeding or red-light-running infractions at camera-controlled intersections, says an advocacy group fighting Winnipeg’s photograph traffic enforcement.

WiseUp Winnipeg revealed Friday that the city has removed all such warning signs from medians where they had been erected for motorists heading toward cameras immediately ahead. Todd Dube, spokesman for the group, charged that the removal of the signs from at least 32 medians — sometime since June 2009 — is clearly part of the city’s stepped-up attempts to claw revenue from drivers.

Baker's budget expects $4.3 million from speed camera program

Mar. 17, 2011 Washington Examiner - Article

Excerpt:

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker is implementing a speed camera program that his budget director says will increase the county's revenue by $4.3 million.

The program is tucked inside Baker's proposed $2.6 billion budget for fiscal 2012. The county is facing a $77 million deficit, said Baker's budget director, Thomas Himler.

Speed cameras rack up $70m

Mar. 4, 2011 Yahoo.com (AU) - Article

Excerpt:

The State Government reaped an extra $5.5 million from lead-footed motorists last year after a 13 per cent rise in the number of drivers caught exceeding the speed limit.

Police attributed the rise in infringements to more speed cameras and new digital technology, including dual-lens cameras and integrated speed-red light cameras.

Collaroy mobile camera turns a fast buck

Feb. 18, 2011 Winnipeg Sun - Article

Excerpt:

Logan Ave. and Main St. is another intersection with improper speed signage that makes it unclear to drivers that the speed limit has dropped to 50 km/h from 60 km/h. It’s likely why this intersection was the top money maker among the city’s intersection camera sites in 2009. With 6,569 tickets issued, it was the highest of any of the 49 intersections, according to the city’s 2009 Photo Enforcement Safety Program Annual Report.

Also, the installation of this camera had virtually no effect on collisions. Collisions went up slightly the year it was installed and then settled back down to levels that occurred prior to installation.

Collaroy mobile camera turns a fast buck

Feb. 9, 2011 The Manly Daily - Article

Excerpt:

MOBILE speed cameras placed at Pittwater Rd in Collaroy have become one of the state’s biggest earners, clocking up almost $25,000 in fines over a four-month period.

“It makes me a little concerned that the data on mobile speed cameras is actually on the government’s Office of State Revenue website rather than any office associated with road safety,” he said.

Speed cameras "in wrong place"

Feb. 6, 2011 InishowenNews.com - Article

Excerpt:

"More than thirty people have been killed on the Burt to Bridgend road over the years yet there are no cameras there because it is harder to catch people out on a 100kms route. I was told by the Gardai that these cameras would concentrate on accident black spots but that has not happened."

Platt: Double trouble for speeders

Jan. 24, 2011 Calgary Sun - Article

Excerpt:

Two radar traps in the same school zone, nabbing motorists twice for the same speeding violation.

If only Calgary's police had actually managed to pull off the double ding on lead- footed drivers it might have solved their budget woes for the foreseeable future.

UK: Speed Camera Penalties Adjusted to Meet Revenue Goals

Jan. 5, 2011 Lutherville-Timonium Patch - Article

Excerpt:

The contractor handling the county's speed camera program was paid more than 81 percent of the fines collected by the county during the first seven months the cameras were operational.

Baltimore County issued more than $1.7 million in speed camera citations last year to motorists photographed speeding past 15 school zone cameras.

UK: Speed Camera Penalties Adjusted to Meet Revenue Goals

Dec. 28, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

Speed camera operators in the UK are looking to hike costs for "educational courses" and redeploy cameras to more lucrative locations to address a growing budget deficit. The options for the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership were discussed in an August 11 strategy meeting, the minutes for which were obtained from a freedom of information request. The partnership consists of local police agencies, local council members, the courts and the staff who run the speed cameras themselves.

Accident black spots speed camera-free

Dec. 27, 2010 Herald Sun - Article

Excerpt:

ONLY four of Victoria's 20 most dangerous accident black spots are monitored by speed cameras.

Yet almost all of the most lucrative speed camera locations have been free of fatalities in the past five years.

Cedar Rapids Nets Over $1 Million From Traffic Cameras

Dec. 23, 2010 KCRG - Article

Excerpt:

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The red light and speed cameras have now netted Cedar Rapids more a million dollars.

After nine months, the city says its collected more than $2.6 million in fines. A little over $1 million of that goes to the company who operates the cameras. So doing the math, that means the city of Cedar Rapids has taken in more than $1.5 million in net revenue.

Baltimore makes $15 million in speed camera citations

Dec. 13, 2010 ABC 2 News - Article

Excerpt:

BALTIMORE - The city of Baltimore could make more than 15 million dollars in speed camera revenue during the first year of the program.

Speed cameras only raise revenue: Stoner

Dec. 12, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald - Article

Excerpt:

New statistics showing speed cameras are not at known fatality spots in NSW prove the scheme is just in place to raise revenue, the state opposition says.

There were no fatalities at the state's most lucrative fixed speed camera at Moore Park in Sydney in the three years before the camera was installed, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Speed cameras and resentment linger

Dec. 3, 2010 Washington Post - Article

Excerpt:

Work zone speed cameras stationed on D.C. 295 near the new Eastern Avenue bridge are snapping away weeks after much of the construction ended, angering drivers but still generating revenue for the District.

Oak Ridge share of red light revenue $1.4M, rising

Dec. 2, 2010 OakRidger.com - Article

Excerpt:

Revenue generated from the traffic cameras collected through October is $2,488,029.83. Of that, the city's share is $1,358,354.54, and Redflex's share is $1,279,675.29.

Germany: Judge Blasts Speed Cameras as Cash Grab

Nov. 15, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

A veteran district court judge in Herford, Germany earlier this month dismissed 42 speed camera citations on the grounds that they were not issued for any legitimate safety purpose. Judge Helmut Knoner blasted the use of cameras that has turned into a multi-billion-dollar worldwide industry.

Watchdog: Cardinal Gibbons closed, but 'school zone' camera remains

Oct. 9, 2010 Baltimore Sun - Article

Excerpt:

The problem: A Southwest Baltimore school closed in June, but the "school zone" signs — and a speed camera — remain.

Fixed cameras proving futile

Aug. 22, 2010 Canberra Times - Article

Excerpt:

FIXED speed cameras are failing to reduce accidents at Canberra traffic hot spots, with accident rates actually increasing since nine new cameras were installed in 2007-08.

But ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has defended their use and flagged the possibility of installing more fixed speed cameras throughout Canberra.

Figures obtained by ACT Liberal MLA Alistair Coe showed accidents at eight camera sites increased from 58.7 per year prior to installation to 67.9 after while pumping an extra $7million each year into government coffers.

Councils demand speed camera revenue

Aug 6, 2010 Brisbane Times - Article

Excerpt:

Queensland councils want access to a slice of the speed camera revenue pie, saying the money would help them to upgrade local roads.

No red-light camera for San Bruno?

May 11, 2010 San Mateo Daily Journal - Article

Excerpt:

Red-light cameras will most likely not become active at San Bruno intersections as city staff believes the safety measure would result in a $30,000 loss annually.

The city will spends thousands on other safety equipment, but when it comes to cameras they are not willing to spend any money. So is it really about safety? --admin

Radar aim exposed

Apr. 29, 2010 Winnipeg Sun - Article

Excerpt:

The city’s photo radar profits fell dramatically in 2009 after the Winnipeg Sun exposed last year how photo enforcement officers were ticketing motorists in construction zones when there was no risk to workers.

The drop in photo radar tickets resulted in a steep revenue decline for the city last year. Profits from photo enforcement plummeted to $4.9 million, down from a peak of $8.8 million the year before — the largest photo enforcement jackpot the city has experienced since the launch of the program in 2003.

Meanwhile, in obvious anticipation of the revenue decline following the photo radar controversy, police ramped up speeding tickets handed out the old fashion way.

Speeding tickets issued through conventional means soared last year 44% to 21,977, up from 11,441 the year before. It’s by far the highest number of conventional speeding tickets issued by police since the city began issuing photo enforcement reports in 2004.

States add red light cameras to see more green

Feb. 4, 2010 News.Com.AU - Article

Excerpt:

AN increase in speed cameras is all about revenue-raising and not about saving lives, Queensland's police union says.

"Since 1997 and 1998 we have seen more speed cameras and more hours allowed for speed camera operations out there and the road toll has not decreased," Mr Leavers said.

States add red light cameras to see more green

Feb. 4, 2010 Washington Times - Article

Excerpt:

Lawmakers around the country are turning to speed cameras to mask the deficits caused by their reckless spending. This is a misuse of the police power to raise revenue for big government.

States add red light cameras to see more green

Jan. 27, 2010 WTOP - Article

Excerpt:

More states are using the technology as a way to bring in money during tough economic times.

New York is hoping to close a big budget gap by adding more speed cameras. Gov. David Paterson wants to see 50 photo radar vans approved quickly, so they can generate $96 million in profit by 2012. The cameras would be installed mainly along freeways and work zones.

Watch your speed in California, too. The state has a plan to add 500 cameras that would issue tickets up to $325 for each violation. California lawmakers hope the cameras will bring in $400 million in profit.

JP suspends red light cameras, looks to create IG's office

Jan. 27, 2010 WWLTV - Article

Excerpt:

Wednesday, the Jefferson Parish Council passed an emergency ordinance, halting the red-light camera program.

Councilman Chris Roberts said he asked for the suspension to give the parish time to investigate the business affairs of the private company that manages the system.

Quebec photo radar generates $4M

Jan. 26, 2010 CBC News - Article

Excerpt:

Quebec's photo radar program has generated nearly $4 million in revenue since ticketing began in mid-August.

New York Governor David Patterson Pushes Speed Cameras

Jan 20, 2009 The Newspaper - Article

Excerpt:

New York Governor David A. Patterson (D) is joining a number of other states in promoting the use of freeway speed cameras as a way to address his state's massive $7.4 billion budget shortfall. Patterson's budget proposal, released yesterday, includes a plan to deploy fifty photo radar vans to generate $96 million in net profit for the general fund by 2012.

Adelaide speed cameras in 'wrong spots'

Jan. 17, 2010 Adelaide Now - Article

Excerpt:

NEW police data has led to accusations the Rann Government is using speed cameras as cash cows instead of targeting accident black spots.

Figures released under Freedom of Information laws show that last year, just two of the top 10 revenue-raising speed camera sites were located in SA's worst black spots.

Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire, who obtained the data, said the records for 2008 and 2007 also showed that, in most cases, the top-earning speeding camera locations were not in the worst places for speed-related accidents.

Speed sensors on red-light cameras could raise money fast

Jan. 9, 2010 LA Times - Article

Excerpt:

Reporting from Sacramento - Speeding may be dangerous for drivers, but it could soon be a boon for California's fiscal health.

Tucked deep into the budget that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled Friday is a plan to give cities and counties the green light to install speed sensors on red-light cameras to catch -- and ticket -- speeding cars.

"This is a budget item for the state?" said Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee. "This is totally reprehensible."

Johnson: Speed camera revenues are 'just another tax'

Jan. 9, 2010 WTOP.com - Article

Excerpt:

County Executive Jack Johnson calls the fines they would generate "just another tax."

"It's disguised as a fee and a fine, but it's a tax," says Johnson.

Analysis: Short Yellows Boost Revenue for Texas Cities

Dec. 16, 2009 The Newspaper - Article

Excerpt:

A number of Texas cities are exploiting short yellow timing at intersections, generating significant additional revenue, according to a review of Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) data by TheNewspaper. The citation issuance rate at the nine intersections with the shortest yellow timing in the state was four times greater than the ticket issuance rate at locations that offered yellow times exceeding statewide averages.

For example, among photo enforced intersections in Texas with a posted speed limit of 55 MPH, the average yellow time was 4.9 seconds. The city of El Paso, however, allowed an Australian company to set up a traffic camera at the intersection of Gateway North Boulevard and Woodrow Bean where the yellow was shorter by 0.4 seconds. This seemingly minor difference resulted in a 132 percent increase in the number of citations issued for every 10,000 vehicles entering into the intersection compared to the locations with longer yellow durations.

Texas Red Light Cameras Generate $100 Million in Tickets

Dec. 12, 2009 The Newspaper - Article

Excerpt:

Red light cameras in the Lone Star State generated $95,799,675 worth of tickets in a twelve month period according to reports filed with the Texas Department of Transportation. Private vendors based in Australia, Arizona, Dallas and England used a total of 333 cameras installed across 36 Texas cities to mail 1,277,329 tickets between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.

Speed cameras boost revenue in DC, Md.

Dec. 12, 2009 WTOP - Article

Excerpt:

Police departments that use them say speed radar cameras help reduce speeding, and the number of tickets issued tends to drop over time. But more people are getting ticketed in D.C., where revenue from speed radar cameras increased from $20.9 million in fiscal year 2008, to $33.3 million in fiscal year 2009.

Local Speed Cameras Make Big Bucks

Dec. 10, 2009 MyFoxDC.com - Article

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Officials say safety is the reason they've installed dozens of speed cameras in D.C. and Montgomery County, but now there's new proof that those cameras are a cash cow for local jurisdictions.

Intent of red-light camera law crashed into money-hungry cities

Nov. 25, 2009 THe Daily News Online - Article

Excerpt:

Some senators had been trying for years to let cities do camera enforcement. Since 2001, though, the bill had died. The chief worries were that the state might be denied a cut of money it currently gets from moving-violation tickets, and that local cities might milk the cameras as money-generating bonanzas.

So in 2005, senators came up with a clever solution. Make the photo tickets equivalent to parking tickets. So legally they aren't moving violations. And financially they wouldn't be "cash cows" for the cities.

It didn't turn out that way. Seattles cameras have churned out more than 75,000 red-light tickets since the program began three years ago. At $124 a pop. Seattle currently charges $38 for a parking ticket.

It's clear from listening to this old debate in the state Legislature, through TVW's archives, that traffic cameras never would have passed without these restrictions.

None of the cities are paying heed. Despite what Haugen said and other legislators echoed, the cities say there is one $250 parking fine on the books -- for illegally parking in a disabled spot. So that gives them carte blanche to charge anything up to that amount.

Australian Audit Report: Safety Not Sole Concern in Speed Camera Deployment

Nov. 20, 2009 The Newspaper - Article

Excerpt:

A report by the Auditor General of Tasmania, Australia released yesterday called into question whether speed cameras were being deployed based on revenue concerns. A team of investigators interviewed police officials, examined documents and other records in order to analyze the state's photo ticketing program over the course of eight months. The final audit questioned why safety concerns did not appear to guide camera placement.

'Dangerous' speed camera rakes in 500,000 a year

Nov. 14, 2009 Telegraph - Article

Excerpt:

Crashes have risen by almost a quarter and casualties have almost doubled since the camera was installed on a busy stretch of the M11 in Essex, in 2000.

Now, details revealed under Freedom of Information legislation, show that the device results in up to 9,000 speeding tickets a year, enough to raise around 500,000 [pounds].

Maryland Cities Create School Zones for Speed Camera Use

Nov. 3, 2009 The Newspaper - Article Alternate Article, ABC 2 News

Excerpt:

Maryland cities will create brand new "school zones" in an attempt to issue speed camera tickets on roads that previously had no need of the designation. When the state legislature authorized speed cameras six months ago in response to a $690,506 lobbying campaign from photo ticketing and insurance companies, lawmakers mandated that the cameras could only be used within a half mile of a school zone. Baltimore is among the first to admit that it will bypass that restriction.

Massachusetts: Red Light Cameras Proposed to Fight Deficit

Nov. 2, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) on Thursday outlined his plan to reduce the state's $600 million deficit and help struggling municipalities by, among several other revenue raising measures, installing red light cameras. The governor's proposed fiscal year 2010 budget amendments would eliminate an existing state law forcing police officers to issue traffic citations personally. Under the new legislation, any jurisdiction in the commonwealth could give private, for-profit companies the right to issue $100 traffic tickets.

Red light cameras: not enough green

Oct. 31, 2009 The Sun - Article

Excerpt:

In the last decade, red light cameras have sprouted at bustling intersections across the San Bernardino Valley in hopes of reducing traffic collisions and injecting additional revenue into cities.

Now some of those cities have either opted out of their contracts with Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. or are considering doing so, citing lack of revenue and a growing uncertainty of the cameras' effectiveness.

City: Red-Light Cameras Not As Profitable As Hoped

Oct. 14, 2009 KMBC.com - Article

Excerpt:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Problems are starting to emerge with Kansas City's red-light camera program.

KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reported that the problems may be severe enough that the program that was designed to make money for the city may end up costing money.

California City Makes a Million From Split Second Mistakes

Jul. 21, 2009 TheNewspaper - Article

Excerpts:

Red light cameras have come under fire recently for focusing on vehicles that make right turns on red, a maneuver that is rarely responsible for causing an accident. But even cities that do not issue many right turn tickets focus on another type of violation that is not dangerous. According to data obtained from the city of Fullerton, California, tickets mailed to the owners of vehicles entering a through intersection less than a second after the light turned red added up to nearly $1 million last year. These technical violations rarely cause accidents.

A 2004 Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) study showed that right angle accidents -- the type caused by straight-through violations of red signals at intersections -- do not happen until an average of nine seconds after the signal had changed from yellow to red.

Red-light cameras raking in cash

Jul. 12, 2009 Chicago Tribune - Article

Excerpts:

That one device generates $60,000 to $70,000 a month in revenue from traffic fines for the western suburb, Bellwood Comptroller Roy McCampbell once declared as he likened the camera to "Lotto or casino type operations."

"That intersection is a guaranteed amount of money," McCampbell boasted to an Illinois Municipal League seminar in a 2007 presentation that was recorded and posted on YouTube."... It just keeps popping."

The vast majority of red-light camera tickets are issued for failure to make a complete stop before a right turn on red -- not for blowing through an intersection.

The 25th and Harrison locale is unusual for a red-light camera because traffic only flows in three directions, not four, reducing the likelihood of side-impact crashes. The east side of the intersection is flanked by the back of Wilson Elementary School, and its presence is one of the reasons officials gave for placing the camera there. But the entrance to Wilson is a block away and there's no crosswalk at the intersection. What's more, the school has been closed for a year.

Colorado: City Dumps Camera Plan Over Revenue Concern

Jul. 6, 2009 TheNewspaper - Article

Excerpts:

The city of Thornton, Colorado decided last week to drop the idea of installing red light cameras after spending more than a year attempting to make the idea work. In the end, the city council was unable to arrive at an acceptable guarantee that, no matter what, the program would make money. A directive handed down by city leaders last year explained the primary objective.

So it turns out that the city thinks it has a safety problem but they don't want to spend any money to address it. While they have probably spent money on installing and upgrading signals, signs, and traffic devices through the years, they are unwilling to spend any money on traffic cameras that will supposedly lead to improved safety. --admin

Texas City Caught Trapping Drivers with Short Yellows

Jul. 4, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

A Texas motorist caught the city of Baytown using short yellows to trap motorists at a photo enforced intersection and of failing to protect sensitive private information. At a press conference yesterday, Byron Schirmbeck and his attorney, Randall Kallinen, announced that the city had agreed to drop a $75 ticket issued on April 12 for making a right-hand turn just 0.2 seconds after the light had turned red at the intersection of West Baker and Garth Roads. The yellow time at this intersection was set at just 3.1 seconds, even though state guidelines indicate that the yellow should have lasted no less than 4 seconds.

City of Pasadena receives setback in bid to use radar to control speeders

Jun. 28, 2009 Pasadena Star-News - Article

Excerpt:

But state Sen. Bob Huff, R-Walnut, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, which was scheduled to hear the bill before it got derailed last week, saw ulterior motives behind the proposal.

"This looks like more of a local revenue-generation bill than a good safety bill," said Huff.

An analysis of the proposal by state officials also concluded there was no evidence that lowering speeds would make local roads safer.

"When asked if there were a safety issue associated with speed on these streets, the city of Pasadena was not able to provide evidence ...that would indicate a safety problem," according to the analysis, which accompanied the bill.

Red Light Camera Program Returns to Virginia

Jun. 17, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

Red light cameras have returned to Northern Virginia. The city of Alexandria announced for the first time yesterday that a private company has re-installed cameras at three intersections with citations going out on July 15. Until now, the city has been quiet about the revived program, hoping to avoid a public discussion of the controversy over accidents that persuaded the legislature to shut down the program in 2005.

According to a report by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the total number of accidents increased 43 percent at the Alexandria intersections where red light cameras were used. Across the five main cities in the state using cameras, the report found an overall increase in injury accidents of 18 percent. This time, Alexandria did not consider bringing back cameras for safety purposes.

"The Red Light Camera program is not considered a core public safety service," Alexandria City Manager James K. Hartman wrote in a March 24, 2008 memo to the city council.

Instead, the city has missed the revenue from the 82,000 tickets issued over the lifetime of the program.

Red-light camera loses backer: Village may dump device after seeing no reduction in accidents

Jun. 29, 2009 Chicago Sun Times - Article

Excerpt:

Bucking a national trend of putting in cameras to catch red-light runners, northwest suburban Schaumburg may get rid of its only red- light camera system because it doesn't do enough to prevent accidents.

"I think the camera should go," said Schaumburg Village President.

"We're trying to be a town that's attractive to shoppers and tourists, and harassing them with red-light cameras when there's no justification from a public-safety standpoint just doesn't make sense," Larson said.

California: Grand Jury Slams City for Short Yellows

Jun. 25, 2009 TheNewspaper - Article

Excerpts:

The Ventura County, California Grand Jury on Monday slammed the city of Ventura for using short yellows to trap motorists at an intersection where a red light camera snaps $1.5 million worth of tickets each year. Of the city's eighteen automated ticketing machines, only the one located at the intersection of California Street and Thompson Boulevard consistently tops the charts.

"California Street has three traffic signal-controlled intersections," the report stated. "The grand jury observed that the yellow light interval at the north and south approaches to California and Thompson had the shortest duration, one full second shorter than other yellow light intervals at intersections on the same street having the same posted speed limit."

Red Light Camera Program Returns to Virginia

Jun. 17, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

Red light cameras have returned to Northern Virginia. The city of Alexandria announced for the first time yesterday that a private company has re-installed cameras at three intersections with citations going out on July 15. Until now, the city has been quiet about the revived program, hoping to avoid a public discussion of the controversy over accidents that persuaded the legislature to shut down the program in 2005.

According to a report by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the total number of accidents increased 43 percent at the Alexandria intersections where red light cameras were used. Across the five main cities in the state using cameras, the report found an overall increase in injury accidents of 18 percent. This time, Alexandria did not consider bringing back cameras for safety purposes.

"The Red Light Camera program is not considered a core public safety service," Alexandria City Manager James K. Hartman wrote in a March 24, 2008 memo to the city council.

New Jersey: Pedestrian Fatalities Not Caused by Right Turns

May. 23, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

Nearly two dozen cities throughout the state of New Jersey are preparing to install red light cameras to ticket motorists. In order to "save pedestrian lives" these programs, like others throughout the country, will issue up to ninety-five percent of citations not to straight-through red light runners but to the owners of vehicles that make rolling right-hand turns on a red. This type of turn rarely causes accidents in the Garden State.

The Bergen, New Jersey Record newspaper obtained accident records from the state transportation department and found that no pedestrians were killed anywhere in New Jersey by drivers making right-hand turns in either 2006 or 2007. In fact, during the same period, nearly a quarter of all pedestrian fatalities could be attributed to drunks stumbling into traffic. The Record's findings match those of a US Department of Transportation report that showed right-turn on red collisions were rare.

Smoke and mirrors

May. 17, 2009 Winnipeg Sun - Article

Excerpt:

Winnipeg's photo radar program was supposed to reduce the number of vehicle collisions and injuries on city streets when it was launched with great fanfare in 2002.

But after five years of use and mountains of data collected, there is no evidence the controversial program -- now under growing pressure to be scrapped altogether -- has achieved that goal, according to internal police reports obtained by the Winnipeg Sun.

Winnipeg police are required to submit reports on photo enforcement to the province every year. The reports are supposed to include all aspects of the program, including how photo radar is deployed and how effective it has been at reducing collisions and injuries.

However, after five years of program use, police have failed to provide any empirical evidence that photo radar has reduced crashes.

The truth about speed cameras: revenue not safety (OPINION)

Apr. 27, 2009 Examiner.com - Article

A well-worded opinion piece worth reading regarding cameras in Maryland.

Washington Deploys Work Zone Cams Despite No Worker Fatalities

Apr. 27, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

"The men and women who work on our state and local highways are often working in and near traffic, and we want everyone to go home to their loved ones at the end of their work day," WSDOT Secretary Paula Hammond said in a statement.

According to WSDOT's own statistics, however, they do go home safely each night. Ninety-nine percent of "work zone" accidents in the state only affect drivers and their passengers, not workers. Washington's findings mirror those of national statistics that show automobiles pose far less of a danger to highway workers and that the latter are most frequently killed while operating their own equipment. Even so, no highway worker has died on the job in Washington in the past seven years.

"Pedestrians, flaggers and roadway workers account for only one percent of these injuries or fatalities," the WSDOT website admits. "Most deaths and injuries in work zones are caused by rear-end collisions."

Cities Upset That Increasing Yellow Light Time Length Reduces 'Revenue'

Mar. 24, 2009 TechDirt.com - Article

With the news that Mississippi has passed a law banning traffic light cameras because it's an invasion of privacy, it's worth looking a bit to the east, where some cities in Georgia are taking down their red light cameras not because of privacy issues, but because a new law required them to increase the length of time that a light is yellow by one second -- and that's decreased red light violations so significantly, that red light cameras have become "too expensive". This is what critics of red light cameras have said from the beginning: it's always been about the revenue, rather than the safety. If you want safety, all you need to do is increase the length of yellow lights, and you have fewer people running red lights and significantly fewer accidents. But... if revenue is your goal, then you do things like decrease the yellow light timing -- which is what a few cities have been caught doing.

Garfield Heights Mayor Thomas Longo looks at traffic cameras for money to fix budget deficit

Mar. 28, 2009 Cleveland.com - Article

Article Excerpt:

Longo said the cameras will improve traffic safety, but he conceded that money prompted the proposal.

"You really don't want to say we did it for finances, but really we are," he said.

The traffic cameras have generated money from fines everywhere they are used, he said.

California: City May Dump Cameras Over Insufficient Revenue

Mar. 6, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

The Upland, California City Council is expected to vote Monday to stop using red light cameras because the program has not only failed to improve safety, it has also failed to generate sufficient revenue. In a memorandum to the city council, Upland Police Chief Steve Adams recommended canceling the city's contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that has been issuing tickets on Upland's behalf since November 2003.

"The monthly revenue from the service has not covered the salary and benefits of those who review and issue potential violations," Adams wrote. "Redflex also desires to eliminate an $8,900 credit per month, which has allowed the system to remain financially neutral at best."

Upland's problem began in 2001 when the company that is now doing business as ACS was caught manipulating pavement sensors in a way that boosted the number of tickets issued in San Diego. At the time, the vendor was being given a monetary award for each red light citation the company generated. The state legislature responded to the scandal with a law banning compensation of the private company operating red light camera programs "based on the number of citations generated, or as a percentage of the revenue generated." To avoid upsetting local governments, contracts signed prior to January 2004, like Upland's, were grandfathered. The law only applied to new contracts.

California: City May Dump Cameras Over Insufficient Revenue

Mar. 3, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

The Upland, California City Council is expected to vote Monday to stop using red light cameras because the program has not only failed to improve safety, it has also failed to generate sufficient revenue. In a memorandum to the city council, Upland Police Chief Steve Adams recommended canceling the city's contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that has been issuing tickets on Upland's behalf since November 2003.

Virginia: How Shortened Yellow Yielded Greater Profit

Jan. 8, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article

VDOT decided to increase the yellow timing from 4.0 back to 5.5 seconds. The impact was immediate and dramatic. Average monthly violations dropped from 250 to between 20 and 30 per month -- a 90 percent decrease.

California: Another City Dumps Red Light Cameras

Oct. 23, 2008 TheNewspaper.com - Article

Excerpt:

Following San Jose, California's recent decision to reject red light cameras, the Los Angeles suburb of El Monte yesterday decided to put an end to photo ticketing after five years of use proved disappointing. With a unanimous vote, the city council declined to renew its contract with Australian camera vendor Redflex because, according to police, the cameras failed to produce any reduction in the number of intersection accidents. More importantly, however, the devices failed to produce revenue.

6 Cities That Were Caught Shortening Yellow Light Times For Profit

Mar. 26, 2008 National Motorists Association - Article

Short yellow light times at intersections have been shown to increase the number of traffic violations and accidents. Conversely, increasing the yellow light duration can dramatically reduce red-light violations at an intersection.

Some local governments have ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead.