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Three States That Have Utilized Red Light Cameras

As red light cameras are becoming more widely used nationwide and being adopted by many states as we speak, we should step back and take a look at their history, as it may help us see what to expect with them in the future. Red light cameras got their start in New York as a safety measure after an 18-month-old girl was struck by a driver running a red light in 1982. The state's Department of Transportation was then spurred to start their automated enforcement program and eventually got it operating on 25 traffic lights in 1993. Years later, red traffic cameras are still prevalent in in a number of states: California, Washington and Florida. California California saw the cameras as early as 1996 where Beverly Hills initiated the ticket-giving program. Now 15 years later, many southern California cities remain dedicated to the program, after Los Angeles city council has voted to do away with it, according to the L.A. Times. The time in between those years has seen plenty of varying opinions from different cities and towns. Cities like Beverly Hills and Santa Clarita have reaped the rewards of half-million dollar profits and increased safety at red lights, while other cities such as Long Beach and El Monte have cancelled because they are not netting enough profit. Washington Another west coast state has been seeing similar stories. According to Komo News, Redmond, Washington, is going to be putting red light cameras on the ballot. The city will be able to decide the fate of the cameras which haven't been seeing much profit, but have greatly reduced the rate of red light accidents. Bellingham is being sued by American Traffic Solutions for allegedly violating the contract for putting its red light camera initiative to a vote as well. Florida The Sunshine State has seen its share of traffic tickets as most of their red light camera iniatives have been underway for around a year now. Tallahassee recently issued a whopping 17,001 citations over the period of a year, according to Florida Today. The state itself has generated approximately $19 million in revenue from the 40 municipalities using the cameras. But like the other states, some Florida towns are still considering getting rid of the programs. Looking at these several examples, there seems to be a divide between cities that want nothing to do with them, and others that want to profit off of red light cameras and the red light tickets they issue.
Posted in Government, Red Light
Aug 04th, 2011