4/18/2007Texas: Dangerous Intersections Are Not Sufficiently Profitable
Red light running violations are insufficient to sustain red light cameras at the most dangerous Lubbock, Texas intersections.
The "most dangerous" intersections in Lubbock, Texas are not profitable enough to sustain a red light camera program, according to a report received yesterday by the city council's traffic commission. Lubbock had proposed to install the devices at the fourteen locations with the highest accident rates, but red light camera operator ATS documented that only four of these were close to sustaining an acceptable level of profit. According to city documents, Lubbock expects to make $2,007,360 in the program's first year with ATS pocketing $3.3 million over five years.
Because ATS offered a contract option to the city guaranteeing a positive revenue stream, the company will not operate the devices at low-profit locations. The city asked the company to test safer intersections to see if it could find more lucrative locations to operate. It is looking for twenty citations a day to keep operations profitable.
Lubbock's photo ticketing program has faced several challenges, including a television news report documenting the short, and in one case, illegal, yellow times at the proposed intersections. The story caused several weeks of delay, forcing the city to impose a hiring freeze because the expected camera program revenue failed to appear. The city council then decided to proceed with the program despite the timing issues.