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Some Red Light Cameras Go Up. . . Cameras Not Generating Sufficient Revenue Come Down

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On: Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 12:09PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Some Red Light Cameras Go Up. . . Cameras Not Generating Sufficient Revenue Come Down

While angry motorists have turned to everything from the ballot box to detectors with camera databases, camera enforcement devices continue to spread across this great land of ours. The only time they go away, apparently, is when they don't make money

While the effectiveness of photo enforcement is questionable, one thing that is undeniable is the amount of cash they generate. Many municipalities generate thousands and sometimes millions from these machines; the party that always wins is the camera vendor. But what if the cameras aren’t bringing in enough money? Well, just like any other business, you have to close those areas that aren’t producing and move on to one that will. Color us aghast. Can you imagine, a red light camera program that's not about safety?

In Santa Maria, California, camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) ended its contract with the city after deciding the system, which it inherited from a different (and bankrupt) vendor it took over, wasn't generating sufficient revenue. So does that mean that the drivers in Santa Maria are safer than anywhere else in the country?

ATS not only shut down the system, it removed all the equipment. Which meant that Santa Maria had to dismiss all violations issued as a result of the cameras, since the city no longer had the necessary evidence to prove the alleged infractions.

Apparently the cameras that have been put up in Tampa and Orlando are doing just fine. Orlando officials have flipped the switch on new red light cameras at five more intersections recently. That brings to a dozen the number of intersections where drivers running red lights will be photographed by automated cameras and fined at least $125. Drivers caught on camera running red lights at six Hillsborough County intersections will get $125 citations.

Camera systems have come under repeated attack in the courts for violations of various state laws on evidence, on public notice, and other grounds. In June, Maine banned camera enforcement outright, the latest of a total of five states to oust them.

But camera proponents continue to insist that cameras are there solely for safety reasons. Until, of course, they're not there.

New Cameras In Orlando
Three of the new intersections are in College Park: at Smith Street and North Westmoreland Avenue; Edgewater Drive and West Princeton Street; and East Princeton and Formosa Avenue.

Another is in the tourist strip at International Drive and Universal Boulevard. The last is at Boggy Creek Road and East Landstreet Road, an intersection near Orlando International Airport that has seen a lot of tractor-trailer accidents.

New Cameras In TAMPA
The cameras started operating Oct. 30, but violators have been getting warning notices. During that time, 2,770 warnings have been mailed out, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The intersections with cameras are Waters Avenue and Dale Mabry Boulevard, Waters and Anderson Road, Fletcher Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Brandon Boulevard and Grand Regency Boulevard, Bell Shoals Road and Bloomingdale Avenue, and Sligh Avenue and Habana Avenue.

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