7/29/2005Fresno, CA to Dump Red Light Cameras
Fresno, California may drop red light cameras after system delivers disappointing profit and no safety benefit.
City officials in Fresno, California admit that red light camera enforcement has not been worthwhile. The devices first installed in April 2002 have not generated the profit promised by Nestor, the vendor that operates the cameras on behalf of the city. In 2003, three traffic cameras issued 1834 citations generating over $600,000 in revenue.
But with that money shared between Nestor and the state of California, the city wasn't pleased with the remaining $20,000 profit. A series of technical problems plagued the program from the beginning ensuring the original promise of $13.8 million in revenue with $1.1 million profit would not be met. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer complained of problems with identifying drivers, explaining in a memo that, "The number of citations issued was significantly lower than original estimates."
The police chief and at least one city council member now recommend that the city allow its contract with camera vendor expire so it can drop the program entirely
"We have seen better results in reduced traffic incidents by hiring more police officers and putting more traffic officers on the streets," Councilman Henry Perea said. "And I think that's the approach the city should have taken from the beginning."
The plan was to lower accidents and fatalities by giving stiff fines to red light runners caught on camera. Turns out, while the number of deaths has rapidly declined in recent years, according to some city leaders it's not thanks to the high tech cameras.Source: Stopping Red Light Cameras in Fresno (KFSN-TV (Fresno, CA), 7/28/2005)
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