Don’t let the lawmakers fool you, red light cameras aren’t all about public safety and slowing drivers down. Like everything else–they are about money. The city’s cameras should be removed by the end of the month, according to the Rome News-Tribune.
Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. elected not to renew their contract with the city after the program failed to generate their projected revenue. In the case of one camera, it cost $17,000 to maintain but was only bringing in $4,200 per month.
The Rome City Manager is quoted as saying, “We covered our costs, but we didn’t cover theirs.” In other words, the city simply wasn’t able to collect enough fines from the cameras in order for the company to see a continued contract to be worth their while.
Redflex also declined to renew contracts with Thomasville, Brunswick, and Bennet.
The city states the cameras did reduce the occurrences of T-Bone accidents and it will be interesting to see if those numbers climb once again after the cameras are removed.
A law passed in 2008 changed how the cameras were used, placing restrictions on how the cameras could catch people zooming through red lights. That’s precisely when the revenue dropped. After that law, the city renegotiated a contract with Redflex, essentially giving them all revenue from the tickets after the cost of writing them was taken out.
But, it wouldn’t be enough.
These red light cameras are just one example of how a law marketed as a public safety measure ends up boiling down to money. Obviously, the cameras did reduce accidents but because they were put in place as a money maker and employed questionable tactics to generate revenue, they couldn’t last once safeguards were put in.
It’s not clear whether the cameras resulted in any criminal traffic citations for reckless driving or similar offenses.
Regardless, it is a blatant and shameless display of revenue being a bigger priority than purported public safety.