4/25/2006Winnipeg Increases Cameras, Ticket Cost to Increase Profit
Winnipeg, Canada responds to scathing photo enforcement audit by increasing the number of cameras and the price of citations.
Officials in Winnipeg, Canada this week reached a new deal with ACS, the Dallas-based private vendor that operates the city's red light and speed camera program. The city had been upset since an official city audit disclosed that Winnipeg's camera contract was badly mismanaged, allowing ACS to keep most of the profit from the $17,661,636 (US $15,113,219) in revenue the program generated. The audit also examined insurance records that showed both serious injury accidents and minor property damage accidents increased between 60 and 113 percent at intersections with cameras.
In response, the city is increasing the cost of tickets by as much as 44 percent, increasing the number of mobile speed cameras by 40 percent and reworking payment terms with ACS. Winnipeg will add four camera vans, the type that generates the greatest number of tickets, for a total of ten vans and thirty intersection cameras.
"We pay them less and get more cameras," Councilor Jenny Gerbasi told the Winnipeg Sun. "And if we can get $2 million for the good, of course I'm happy."
Ticket fines will jump from $110 to $144 for the most minor offense and the top fine jumps from $135 to $195 for driving 16km/h (10MPH) over the limit. The package of changes is expected to increase Winnipeg's profit by $2.1 million a year. ACS is charged with bribery for its effort to secure the photo contract in nearby Edmonton.