Friday, August 7, 2009

Traffic Camera Update:

Across the country, communities have installed photo enforcement cameras for both speed and red lights, all the while chanting the mantra, "It's all about safety, it's all about safety." This may be true. But the financial windfall realized by virtually all communities that install cameras can't be easily ignored.

The small community of Heath, Ohio installed cameras in June of this year and started mailing out citations in July. Over 10,000 citations! And at $100 a pop, those fines would generate in one month nearly 1/8 of the city's general fund.

The people cried foul (especially those with multiple citations in one day!) and the city started it's chant. And then something unexpected happened.

The city of Heath issued a statement saying that the cameras were installed for safety and that they just wanted drivers to slow down, And then they said that all drivers in the month of July that received multiple citations would have all but one dismissed with just a phone call.

Maybe the officials in Heath really did have the cameras installed for safety reasons. It's not really about the money.


irondad said...

There's got to be money in it. Out here, the camera company supplies the cameras for free. Then they take a cut.

Doug C said...

Dan - I can guarantee you there’s money involved. The city’s take is upwards of 75% or about $800,000 for the first month alone. It will be interesting though, to see how much that amount is reduced when they forgive all but the first citation of multiple citation offenders.

One resident was whining about how she was cited for 6 violations in one day saying she didn’t know the cameras were there as if she had been living under a rock for the previous 30 days. I say bring out the violins.

Baron's Life said...

Can they create jobs...with that money?
anyways, I don't like being watched 24/7...guarantee you it won't be long before somebody points a gun at the camera and takes it down in true style.

Lance said...

Hello Doug - this is a growing trend in Washington State as well, with a community not too far from mine having installed them.

Wow, 6 violations in one day??!! She needs a whole symphony!