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Old 06-13-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
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Red light cameras not making money, so they shut them down.

This goes back to the discussion that red light cameras are a money-making scheme. If they were for so called safety, wouldn't they keep them running?


By Alex Johnson
updated 1:12 a.m. CT, Fri., March. 21, 2008

Last week, Dallas officials reviewed the numbers and decided that a quarter of the cameras they had installed to catch motorists running red lights were too effective. So they shut them down.


Fewer violations = less revenue
Sometimes, as in Dallas, cameras generate so little revenue that they can’t even pay for themselves.

Citywide statistics obtained by NBC affiliate KXAS-TV found that red light cameras do reduce accidents. That is a good thing.

But they do it by reducing red light violations, by as much as 29 percent from month to month at particularly busy Dallas intersections. On the face of it, that, too, is a good thing — but not, necessarily, if you rely on traffic fines to make up a healthy chunk of your budget.

Dallas lawmakers originally estimated gross revenue of $15 million from their 62 cameras this fiscal year, which ends June 30. But City Manager Mary Suhm estimated last week that the city would fall short by more than $4 million.

So last week, the city turned off about a quarter of the least profitable cameras, saying it couldn’t justify the cost of running them.

Safety benefits questioned
Dallas was just following the lead of several other cities that have shut down red light cameras.

City officials in Charlotte and Fayetteville, N.C., recently turned off all of their red light cameras, concluding that a state law diverting much of the revenue they generate in fines to schools meant their general funds were actually losing money, NBC affiliate WNCN of Raleigh reported.

In Bolingbrook, Ill., meanwhile, officials ended their red light camera program after statistics showed a 40 percent drop in ticketable offenses.

Nor is money the only reason cameras have been removed. In Lubbock, Texas, the City Council shut down all its cameras last month, citing a report that showed statistically significant increases in rear-end collisions at intersections, including those with cameras.

Rear-end collisions, in fact, have been cited in numerous reports and lawsuits questioning the benefits of red light cameras. Opponents claim that the cameras actually create more hazardous conditions.
“When people know there’s a red light camera, they change their driving behavior, and they slam on their brakes trying to avoid a ticket,” said Tom McCarey, an activist for the National Motorists Association. The association, which is based in Waunakee, Wis., calls itself a 6,000-member group “dedicated to representing and protecting the rights and interests of North American motorists.”
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:50 PM   #2
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when is it NOT about money.....goes for everything in life in every corner of this earth. money makes the world go round.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:54 PM   #3
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That's why they shorten the yellow light. So more people are caught out by the quick change. More$.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:43 PM   #4
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they slam their brakes because their so used to coasting through the red's. and the people following too close should not be so close.... and shouldn't plan on coasting in behind the person in front of them.... what's the problem with proactive re-training on what the STOP lights are supposed to mean?

But I wouldn't tell anyone that they were shutting down certain cameras - I'd just shut them off from monitoring and leave the hardware - obviously, the effort succeeds sometimes.... but by removing certain cameras, they just give people a license to run the lights now...

I think though - if all the cameras do what they are supposed to do, all the revenue should go downward and eventually make the system worthless (in theory) - personally - I would reduce their use to high-traffic hours, instead of removing them altogether...

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