Red-light cameras were first installed in New York City in 1993. Since then, their popularity has grown dramatically and it is estimated that more than 100 communities use the technology. Research on the issue of red-light cameras and accidents showed generally positive outcomes. Starting in 2001, the U.S. Department of Transportation funded research in seven jurisdictions with data from before and after installation, as well as at reference and control sites. Research has shown a significant decrease in right-angle crashes (379 fewer crashes). However, it also showed a significant increase in rear-end crashes (375 additional crashes) as people slammed on their brakes to avoid a ticket. As for injuries, the red-light cameras reduced injuries in right-angle crashes by 55 and increased injuries in rear-end crashes by 32.
A judge in Minnesota has stopped the city of Minneapolis' red light camera program. Twenty-six thousand people have received tickets at $142 a piece since the red light camera program started in Minneapolis last summer. The cameras were turned off at noon Tuesday after Judge Mark Wernick ruled the city's ordinance unconstitutional. He was responding to a motion from the American Civil Liberties Union. The "photo cop" program was brought to Minneapolis by Police Chief William McManus after he started a similar program in Dayton, Ohio where he previously served as chief. It's not clear yet what the ruling means for the drivers who have already received tickets. The city of Minneapolis netted about $600,000 from the photo cops.
Scottsdale police promised Thursday that other 100 mph speeders photographed on Loop 101 will suffer legal problems. Police last month arrested two Valley residents; city officials have said both were caught by the automated system traveling at 110 mph. Last week cameras have snapped slightly more than 60 motorists speeding 100 mph or faster. 9,798 motorists have been clocked going 76 mph or faster, according to city records received from Redflex Traffic Systems Inc.
Red light runners are most likely to be younger than 30, have multiple speeding convictions and are less likely to use seat belts than other drivers. Fatally injured red light runners are six times more likely to have a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent or more than other drivers in such crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Unfortunately, I don't see how any city can ignore the free money generated by these cameras. I think every city is eventually doomed to see these . . . For a typical $157 photo enforcement citation, about $73 goes to the state in the form of surcharges to support the Criminal Justice Enhancement Fund and other designated state programs, and the City Court receives $10 for a fund used only for court operations enhancements. Redflex Traffic Systems, the city's photo enforcement contractor, receives $42.48 for each paid citation. The remaining $32 covers general operating costs for the program, including city rental payments to Redflex for the equipment and other police, prosecutor and court costs.
Photo Enforced is a user contributed database of photo enforced street intersections and speed camera locations. Automated enforcement laws vary significantly from state to state; some authorize enforcement statewide, whereas others permit it only in specified communities. The use of red light cameras is used to "help" communities enforce traffic safety by automatically photographing the vehicles of drivers who run red lights. There are many differences in automated enforcement laws in each state and most locations are unpublished. It is our mission to locate and track photo enforcement areas and violation trends. Search the FREE database here