Tag Archives: Red Light Cameras

When to put in the circular file

Apparently Alexandra VA is making another stab at speed camera revenue enhancement (hat tip to DC Camera Fraud):

In two weeks, a for-profit company will begin mailing traffic tickets to the owners of vehicles passing through three Alexandria intersections. The private company, American Traffic Solutions, Inc., operates the traffic cameras, makes the initial decision who is guilty, mails the tickets, collects the fines and then gives the city a cut of the windfall.

This isn’t the first time Alexandria has tried to cash in on photo enforcement. Between 1998 and 2005, Alexandria’s cameras snapped more than 50,000 citations.

Make no mistake; this is all about the money. Everywhere speed cameras have been tried they have resulted in more accidents than before. But there is good news in VA at least. According to state law you really don’t have to pay the fines:

Fortunately, there is some good news for motorists who might receive a ticket in the mail after toodling through Old Town. As The Washington Times reported four years ago, state law says a private company may not simply drop a ticket in a mailbox and expect it to be considered valid service. Unless a driver receives a hand-delivered copy, the citation can be thrown away without consequence. Depriving Alexandria and its revenue-collecting partner of cash is the surest way to ensure this unsafe program disappears for good.

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Not amused

Apparently there are iPhone apps and GPS systems that alert drivers to speed and red-light cameras. The powers-that-be are not amused:

Area drivers looking to outwit police speed traps and traffic cameras are using an iPhone application and other global positioning system devices that pinpoint the location of the cameras.

That has irked D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier, who promised her officers would pick up their game to   counteract the devices, which can also help drivers dodge sobriety checkpoints.

“I think that’s the whole point of this program,” she told The Examiner. “It’s designed to circumvent law enforcement — law enforcement that is designed specifically to save lives.”

No, no they are not. They are specifically designed to increase city and county revenues. And that money will not be parted with easily.

Would your city commit manslaughter to increase tax revenues?

Apparently these six American cities shortened shorted their yellow light times to increase red-light violation rates at intersections with red-light cameras (hat tip to Instapundit):

Six cities have been busted recently for having an amber light that lasted less than the minimum timing at an intersection, and millions of dollars in fines have been collected when drivers went through the premature red and got caught on camera. Chattanooga, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Springfield, Missouri; Lubbock, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Union City, California all cut the timing on their lights, and while some have paid back the fines, others have not. In Dallas, over $700,000 was collected in a matter of eight months, and in Tennessee the light timing was changed at only a few intersections, which just so happen to be the areas where local law enforcement set up traps.

I’m not a lawyer, but putting those that made these decisions on trial for manslaughter if there was a fatal accident at one of these intersections seems very reasonable.

USF Smacks Down Red Light Cameras

USF, my local state university, smacks down red light cameras in this study (hat tip to Instapundit). Unfortunately even though numerous studies have shown that these types of systems decrease traffic safety, they are being installed all over the country.

We clearly are not learning the lessons provided to us by the UK.

And it’s all really about the money anyway.