Potential Red Light Violations Thrown Out by SRTC Staff | Mar 30, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 comment Over 300 potential red light violations had to be dismissed, meaning the City of Spokane may have lost some possible revenue from their red light cameras. Here’s the Spokesman story. 1 Comment Anonymous on March 30, 2009 at 9:48 pm Am I the only one who has noticed that nearly every story I see dealing with the red light cameras focuses on the revenue from the cameras? Spokane program threatened — October 24Spokane’s red light camera enforcement program could soon get a red light of its own. City officials say the city may dump the cameras if a state initiative … is approved by voters. That’s because under Initiative 985, cities would lose money they generate through camera enforcement programs to a state fund that would be devoted to reducing traffic congestion. I agree that cities shouldn’t have to take a loss on the cameras, but the response to a proposal that is revenue-neutral (the city doesn’t get to keep any money beyond the cost of installing and operating the system) would be interesting to see. Getting There: Fuzzy pavement lines sap red-light camera revenue — March 30As a result, 301 potential red-light violations captured on camera had to be thrown out, police Officer Teresa Fuller said at a recent meeting of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee. That’s about $37,000 in potential fines lost to the photo-red enforcement program, a revenue source to the city budget. And later:Fuller said the city is getting better-than-expected yield from the $124 tickets issued to the owners of vehicles caught on cameras running the red lights. I’m sorry, but yield is something you’re concerned about when running a business. Perhaps the most telling statement in the article is this: So far, the system is covering the cost of operating it through a contactor in Scottsdale, Ariz., but has not earned much profit. Getting the lines re-established would allow the city to make money, Fuller said. Cops: Red light cameras a big success so far — February 16“Officer Teresa Fuller told KREM 2 News that the program has brought in $45,000 to the city since the first cameras were installed at three intersections in the city on November 1.” The only numbers quoted in the story are the $45,000 the city is collecting and the fact that it comes at $124. Success would be a decreased in the accident rate at the affected intersections and a decrease in the severity of actions at the intersections. Two and a half months (from November to when the story was published) isn’t enough time to see a statistically significant decrease in accident rate or severity, so judging the program as “successful” is premature … unless “success” is dollars collected. On the face, it certainly appears that the city’s measure of success is profit, which flies in the face of the city’s repeated claims that their primary concern is safety. The ongoing public comments by Officer Fuller over the past six months sound like something I would expect from a corporate manager discussing department performance, not something that should be coming from a police department. If excess collections went somewhere other than the city budget, perhaps I would agree that the city is truly concerned about safety. As it stands now, safety seems to be, at best, a secondary concern with this program. The cynic in me thinks that safety is actually a justification for a revenue-generating program. Submit a Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.