9/15/2005Vista, California Adds Another Camera to Increase Profit
Vista, California adds a fifth red light camera over decreasing revenue concerns.
The Vista, California City Council voted yesterday to expand its red light camera program because it had not been making the level of profit predicted when the cameras were first activated in August 2004. The city will add a fifth camera at a location that will be selected in October.
The city pays Australian vendor Redflex to operate the program. In return, Redflex keeps an $89 bounty from each $341 citation that the company issues. The remaining sum is divided between Vista, which keeps $77 in profit, and the state, which collects $175. Despite the no-loss arrangement, Vista claims that after it pays the $135,000 annual salary and benefits for a full-time deputy to look at an average of forty citations per day, it is left with a projected $39,000 loss.
When the city council threatened to drop the program over this claimed loss, Redflex agreed to drop its fee for the new, fifth camera, allowing the city to keep the full $166 per-ticket profit. The number of red light citations dropped significantly on Escondido Avenue last November after the timing of traffic signals was synchronized.
But drivers became increasingly camera-savvy and were aided in part by efforts to synchronize traffic signals at one intersection with others in the area to speed drivers through under green lights. "If you don't have to stop as much, you won't run a red light," said Assistant City Manager Rick Dudley.Source: Vista to add fifth traffic camera (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/15/2005)
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