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Some Suburbs Reconsidering Red Light Cameras

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 20, 2010 8:13PM

Image via trippchicago.
It looks as though some suburbs are starting to have second thoughts about expanding the use of red light cameras. The reason? A drop in revenue.

What many in local government believed was a guaranteed revenue stream are now finding that the opposite is in happening. As more motorists are becoming aware of where the cameras are located (or finding ways to get around them), less of them are rolling through red lights. Ergo, a drop in the number of tickets being mailed and a commensurate drop in revenue.

The Tribune spoke with former Bellwood Roy McCampbell, who once compared red light cameras to a casino. Red light camera moving violations accounted for $1.1 million in revenue in 2008. But revenues dropped by half last year and, to date in 2010, the cameras have only generated $250,000 in fines.

If there is a silver lining in this, it's that the red light cameras have done what numerous driving education courses and screenings of "Blood on the Highway" haven't, which is make motorists cognizant of the rules of the road.