Monday, December 20, 2010

Red Light Cameras are about revenue

Red light cameras:  Here in Illinois we were told they were about our safety.  Now it appears from a number of news sources that red light cameras are not about safety.  In July, Schaumburg was considering getting rid of its red light camera becacuse:

"The result is very few crashes at any of our major intersections have been the result of traffic signal violations,"

 Schaumburg got rid of their one red light camera shortly after that article, however Algonquin IL, the city police publish on their website:

Algonquin began red light camera enforcement program in October 2008. The program is seen by Village officials as an important step to improve the safety and flow of local traffic.

Which is a different story than Schaumburg who claimed there is no safety advantage, however the primary worth of continuing the red light program was based on revenue.

Village Manager William Ganek said the $30,000 in lost revenue is manageable -- and well worth continuing the program.  

Elk Grove Village seems to have good Public Relations about the cameras though, they publish some impressive numbers about safety, not about revenue:

In Elk Grove Village, officials say the cameras have worked so well that they will deactivate them at Devon Avenue and Busse Road to see if they have changed driving habits. Recorded red-light violations in the village dropped to 9,500 for the first half of 2010, compared with 13,500 for the same period last year. Crashes at the monitored intersections are also down significantly -- nearly 70 percent at one intersection, Mayor Craig Johnson said.

While Libertyville, IL is concerned mainly with revenue, and what they're allowed to ticket for:

In Libertyville, net revenues from photo-enforced red-light violations were projected at $462,000 this fiscal year , but after six months only $32,000 had been taken in. Police say there are two principal reasons for the decline: More drivers are obeying the traffic signals, and the village does not issue tickets for right turns on red.
 A statewide attempt to ban the cameras came from my own Dan Dufffy in the form of SB2466 which would have effectively made the cameras illegal for use by modifying the vehicle code.

Check out this website for information about how your state handles Traffic Cameras:   Personal Side Note - Minnesota doesn't use them!

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