On red-light cameras, city e-mails raise question: Are officials more concerned about crashes or cash?

… 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. — More.

Los Angeles, Pasadena and San Diego, among others, ended the cash cameras amid questions whether they actually reduce accidents.

Knoxville’s congressman seeks red light for federal funding of cameras

“Since most highway money, even at the state level, comes from the federal government, and most of the work that is being done locally involves federal money, what hopefully it will mean — and should mean — is that there will be many, many fewer red-light cameras all over the country,” said U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., a Knoxville Republican. — More.

‘Stop the red-light cameras: They raise money but do not improve traffic safety’

Only I, speaking for the National Motorists Association, talked about the volumes of evidence showing that red-light cameras often cause more accidents, and that using longer yellow-light intervals can prevent far more violations than cameras. But that simple safety solution is not profitable.

Studies by police departments and media in many cities have found that red-light cameras either do little to reduce accidents or are actually correlated with more accidents. More.

Another nail in the coffin of safety claims.

UPDATE: “They (Redflex) are using safety as an excuse to increase revenue for those cities,” Deputy Mayor Mike Denning said. “Up front, that was going to be revenue. For us to put it out there in the name of safety when it’s revenue, I was never for that. If we’re going to do it, let’s be honest about it. Let’s not take the same route like other folks and say it’s safety when it’s not.” — More.

 

Red-light cameras facing class action, legislation in NC; NJ eyes total ban, FL missed the memo

CARY, N.C. – A Wake County judge has granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by two drivers against Cary’s red-light camera traffic enforcement system, opening the possibility that Cary could be forced to refund $50 tickets paid by thousands of drivers since late 2009. — More.

Meanwhile, lawmakers turn the spotlight on the only four cities using red-light cameras in North Carolina. — More.

And in New Jersey: The local pols were in such a hurry to get their hands around your money they forgot all about following the law that set the camera experiment up. Or maybe they were hoping nobody would notice.

In the meantime, FL continues to miss the memo that people hate the cameras, that ol’ due process thing, and that cities and towns are learning they’re not the money makers they had hoped.

 

‘Government should not use citizens as cash cows’

On Tuesday, officials from the state Department of Transportation suspended the program after learning 63 of the 85 red-light cameras in New Jersey were not tested to ensure yellow lights were timed in accordance with the statute that created the pilot program. — More.

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“Whoever made the call in 2008 or 2009 blew it, either out of ignorance or poor judgment,” said Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, a critic of the camera program.More.

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New Jersey’s red light camera program has been suspended pending a widespread  number of tickets issued erroneously… — More.

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Red light cameras are the tar baby of cities… — More.

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Cameras at intersections in Cherry Hill, Glassboro, Stratford, and Monroe, and 17 other New Jersey communities may be connected to traffic signals that are improperly calibrated, the department said. — More.

Wow. Maybe even New Jersey is sobering up. Say, doesn’t “improperly calibrated” seem to be happening a lot? Gee. A cynic might think that’s done on purpose.

UPDATE: And in San Diego todayThe audit found the program did not reduce red light violations at the intersection, which had a very low crash rate.