July 15th, 2012
A couple of years ago, the city of Westminster, Maryland placed five red-light cameras around the city. Hopes were that it would make intersections safer and perhaps raise some more revenue for the municipality. The city council there just voted to remove them.
It seems the city was getting shafted for the fees to run the cameras. Each camera system was costing the city $2200 a day. That is more than it was taking in on fines from violations.
Jeff Spaulding, Westminster's Police Chief, said that the cameras were doing nothing but costing the citizens money.
“These cameras were not in a break-even mode. They were literally costing the city taxpayers money,” Spaulding told local CBS affiliate WJZ.
As far as the safety aspect goes, there was an increase in accidents at these intersections since the camera were installed. In the last two years, there have been 11 serious crashes and 35 fender benders at these intersections since the cameras were installed.
“These numbers are not characteristic of red light programs,” Spaulding said.
Because of the high number of collisions and low number of citations, two of the five cameras were deactivated in the first year and two more were deactivated this year. A single camera was left since the number of accidents has not increased at that intersection.
3 comments on "City council votes out traffic cameras"
In Dayton,Ohio, the news is reporting that city employees are getting a pass on paying the fines. School buses,city trucks, stuff like that. Since the report has not yet aired,I am not sure if this ticket 'fixing' extends to city employees in their personal cars and trucks. Hmmmmmmmm...
At least in Dayton,they put warning signs up that alert to these cameras and tell you if they are for red light,speed,or both. Couple a red light camera with a short duration yellow light,and that's where it really pees me off.
I would not be surprised if some opportunist started cruising the red light zones for a chance to slam on his brakes to get hit in the rear for the insurance money.
sounds like the only purpose for the lights was to draw in more money from fines... typical buricrat bs if you ask me.