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Why does at least half of the money paid for being caught running a red light by a camera go to the camera company?

Contracts between companies and cities can affect how much money the cities get.

In Clive, Iowa for instance, the red-light camera program generated $39,548.65 between July 2006 and March 2007, but all of that money went to the camera company because Clive didn't ticket enough drivers in any single month to make money. Clive has since changed its contract and now gets a percentage of each ticket.

The largest red-light camera company, Redflex Traffic Systems of Scottsdale, operates red-light or speed cameras in 22 states, and added 79 cities last year. It signed a $32 million maintenance contract with Chicago last fall, and in just the last three weeks of last year, Redflex added five new cities.

Redflex saw net, after-tax profits of $10.6 million in fiscal year 2008, up from $7.3 million the year before.

That ticket in Clive shows why: More than half of the $75 fine went to Redflex.

"That's ridiculous," said Ashok Manglik, a physician who paid his wife's ticket. "Why should it go to the camera company? At least 90 percent should go to the city."

Some cities, such as Orlando and Atlanta, put all the money back into the program so they don't profit from issuing tickets.

"It was a concern," said Mike Rhodes, manager of the Orlando's Code Enforcement Division. "Without casting aspersions on vendors, we didn't want to be seen as having any incentive to issue these tickets."

Plenty of people have been getting tickets in Orlando.

The city issued 785 "failure to obey a traffic signal" tickets — their equivalent of a red-light violation — between Sept. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2007. But after the cameras were installed in September 2008, Orlando issued 8,250 tickets through its red-light camera program during that four-month period.
Y.B.Y.S.A.I.A
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quote:
Originally posted by bamanick:
These things are NOT about safety they are about revenue and it doesn't matter to me if it's to the camera company or to the municipality - it's still about revenue. Wrong on more levels than I care to speak about.


Yeah, they've got to be about revenue...why else would Atlanta and Orlando (just a couple of examples, there are a lot more) put ALL the funds back into the program and NOT profit at all from the program?

I think you summed it up with your words, "it doesn't matter to me..."

If it's a government program, some people will be against it, no matter how many lives it saves or crashes it prevents.
Link

The pursuit of profits has led to some camera systems being adjusted by the camera suppliers to photograph non-offenders. I remember one of the first such systems was installed in a California city (San Diego I think) by one of our larger electronics companies (seems like it was Lockheed) and was found to have been deliberately set to photograph vehicles which were not in violation of the traffic signal. The ability to tweak these things to up their profitability is too tempting for government flunkies to be trusted with. I don't know if you remember the Alabama speedtraps that were once plentiful but this is just a high tech version of those in my opinion.
quote:
Originally posted by F350:
Link

The pursuit of profits has led to some camera systems being adjusted by the camera suppliers to photograph non-offenders. I remember one of the first such systems was installed in a California city (San Diego I think) by one of our larger electronics companies (seems like it was Lockheed) and was found to have been deliberately set to photograph vehicles which were not in violation of the traffic signal. The ability to tweak these things to up their profitability is too tempting for government flunkies to be trusted with. I don't know if you remember the Alabama speedtraps that were once plentiful but this is just a high tech version of those in my opinion.


Oh, yeah. A link to the "National Motorist Association". There's a stellar group. The "chairman" draws $10,000 salary from the organization for a reported less than 15 hours a week. Where does the salary come from? Gullible people who buy a "membership" in this con game. What do you get for your $35 membership fee? Maybe advice on a phone, if you can catch them at the office. Allegedly they will pay one speeding ticket for you per year, if you meet all their criteria, including having to go all the way through a traffic trial. Miss one little part of their criteria, and they are not going to pay.

Numerous traffic studies have shown that camera systems reduce right angle crashes (T-bone crashes) by as much as 70 percent. Typically, rear end crashes increase a few percent, but nowhere as much as the more deadly right angle crashes are decreased.

How much is one saved life worth, in dollars?
Don't know about their credibility but I wouldn't begrudge the "chairman" $13/hr.

"Numerous traffic studies have shown that camera systems reduce right angle crashes (T-bone crashes) by as much as 70 percent. Typically, rear end crashes increase a few percent, but nowhere as much as the more deadly right angle crashes are decreased."

I also don't know about "numerous traffic studies" or how "stellar" the state of VA is but their studies found vastly different results than your studies.

Link
quote:
Originally posted by F350:
Don't know about their credibility but I wouldn't begrudge the "chairman" $13/hr.

"Numerous traffic studies have shown that camera systems reduce right angle crashes (T-bone crashes) by as much as 70 percent. Typically, rear end crashes increase a few percent, but nowhere as much as the more deadly right angle crashes are decreased."

I also don't know about "numerous traffic studies" or how "stellar" the state of VA is but their studies found vastly different results than your studies.

Link


The "newspaper.com" is another institution who's only purpose is to discredit traffic enforcement. Very similar to the "National Motorists Association".

From the actual report:

quote:
These results cannot be used to justify the widespread installation of cameras because they are not universally effective.
These results also cannot be used to justify the abolition of cameras, as they have had a positive impact at some intersections and in
some jurisdictions. The report recommends, therefore, that the decision to install a red light camera be made on an intersection-by intersection basis. In addition, it is recommended that a carefully controlled experiment be conducted to examine further the impact of red light programs on safety and to determine how an increase in rear-end crashes can be avoided at specific intersections.


Typically, the increase in crashes was not significant, unless the goal is trying to discredit traffic enforcement programs.
Sounds like we would just be trading one problem for another. I think red light runners should be ticketed by an officer. I think the fine should be severe. This also provides an oportunity for the officer to evaluate the fitness of the driver to be operating the vehicle. I still maintain that the well intentioned installation of these cameras often results in their use for revenue enhancement and does not appreciably increase the safety of the intersection in relation to their costs.
I'd suggest reading the actual Virginia report, rather than depending on somebody's opinion of what it says. It's available on line, and is quite informative.
I learned a long time ago that the only way to get a driver's attention and correct their bad driving habits is to either take their privilege of driving away, or take money from their pocket. Warnings and cute "public awareness" programs don't work.

Want to save lives? Demand conformance to traffic laws by strict enforcement.

Want to have people die? Don't enforce traffic laws.
I read the report before my last post. I guess you and I just disagree as to what it says.

From that study;
"Based only on the study results presented herein and without referencing other studies,
the study did not show a definitive safety benefit associated with camera installation with regard
to all crash types, all crash severities, and all crash jurisdictions. The study did show a net safety
benefit for some jurisdictions (such as Vienna or Alexandria) but not for others (such as
Arlington). There is evidence to suggest that this difference might have more to do with
variation among intersections than among jurisdictions. Finally, it may be said that the cameras
were associated with a clear decrease in red light running crashes and a clear increase in rear-end
crashes."

As I said trading one problem for another.
quote:
Originally posted by bamanick:
These things are NOT about safety they are about revenue and it doesn't matter to me if it's to the camera company or to the municipality - it's still about revenue. Wrong on more levels than I care to speak about.


There is a traffic camera system in Selmer, TN, at the corner of 64 and 45. Before it went in, that intersection was well known for deadly accidents. People would try to beat the light all the time. Those cameras have been there for a while and, last I read about it, it has literally eliminated accidents at the intersection.

There are signs from all directions warning of the cameras and they are very obvious to the public. I am sure there are some cameras that are very well hidden and might come as a surprise to the folks that get the ticket, but (like speeding) if you run the light you risk paying the price.

I'd rather have a camera monitoring the intersection for light runners and have the officer out on patrol somewhere than have the officer sitting there trying to catch people running the light.

Kirk

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