Source: Joshua Emerson Smith, California Watch Blog, December 13, 2010
While the state collects millions of dollars from red-light cameras at intersections, a few California cities are starting to question whether the safety benefits are worth the high cost to their own coffers….Over the last five years, Loma Linda brought in around $200,000 from the project, the paper reported. But the bulk of the ticket fines went to the state or to Redflex, the Australia-based company that operates the cameras. “For that $200,000, we took $15 million out of the local economy” in ticket fines, the Daily Facts quoted Rigsby as saying.
Whittier shuttered its program in November, choosing not to renew its contract with Nestor Traffic Systems, citing no improvement in traffic safety and declining revenue, the Whittier Daily News reported.
In Los Angeles, City Controller Wendy Greuel released a report saying the city’s red-light camera program is actually costing the city money. Of the $446 ticket drivers receive, only $157 goes to the city while the county gets $74 and the state $215, according to Greuel’s report. On top of this, many tickets are never paid, party because failure to do so does not result in a suspension of license but also because 67 percent of tickets were mailed to people making legal right turns on red….
…Studies in Arizona, New Mexico, and Canada have gone further, finding that red-light cameras can actually cause accidents because drivers often stop abruptly to avoid a ticket, leading to rear end collisions.