Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Are Red Light Cameras a Scam?

Is the goal of red light cameras for safety or for scamming you out of money? Some say scam in the Las Angelas area based on new research done by the LA Times. See the May 19th 2008 article here: http://www.latimes.com. “In Los Angeles, officials estimate that 80% of red light camera tickets go not to those running through intersections but to drivers making rolling right turns. The city of Los Angeles issued more than 30,000 photo tickets last year at 32 camera-equipped intersections. About 8 in 10 involved right turns, said Los Angeles Police Sgt. Matthew MacWillie, the program's co-coordinator.” Red light running violations in Los Angeles County aren’t cheep at $381. Rolling red light right hand turns still fetch a hefty $159 for what essentially is a legal turn. Since rolling turns are not a major safety concern in my opinion this suggests (not surprising) that cities motive for installing red light cameras has a lot to do with generating additional revenue and not necessarily about saving lives. I'd like to know your thoughts, please comment.

1 comment:

D-man said...

Red light cameras are definitely intended to generate revenue. It takes a very long time for most of these cameras to "pay for themselves", however. Cities like Los Angeles are gambling with tax payers money when they select locations for these cameras and the high cost of installing these cameras vs. the significant time needed to profit from them causes a strain on budgets and translates into fewer dollars available for city services including law enforcement. Not to mention they are "on the grid" and cost money to run as well as to maintain. Red light cameras are lose-lose if you ask me. Some smaller cities have experienced a financial crisis' after having installing red light cameras and not realizing the expected revenue.