Red-light cameras on the rise in the US



Red-light cameras on the rise in the US
The number of US communities with red-light cameras and speed cameras in the USA almost tripled since the start of this year announced this week Cheetah USA LLC, a manufacturer of speed and red light camera detector. Figures provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at the end of January of 2007 showed 215 US communities had red-light camera programs or were discussing contracts with red light camera vendors. Less than 9 months later Cheetah confirm this figure has leapt to 607 US communities and growing rapidly.

The figures have been collated from the database used by Cheetah in its speed and red light camera detector, called the GPSmirror.

Commenting on the figures Alisdair Smith, international vice president of Marketing for Cheetah said, “Camera revenue drops over time at any static location so it is interesting to watch the tactics adopted by camera vendors to increase revenue from each site. Red-light cameras in Houston now ticket drivers who turn right on red without coming to a complete halt. That gave a massive revenue boost to the city. Most cameras in Arizona have now been converted to “speed on green” red light cameras and what happens in Arizona tends to ripple out to other states. All the new red light cameras in Louisiana will be “Speed-on-green,” doubling their chances of fining motorists. These combination speed and red light cameras are the lead in to speed cameras like we have in Europe. The UK has about 5000 cameras in an area one third of the size of Texas so we know what lies ahead.”

Cheetah GPSmirror
Cheetah GPSmirror
Cheetah GPSmirror
Cheetah GPSmirror
Chicago is a good example of the rise of red-light cameras as explained the Chicago Tribune in an article published in August. The city installed its first camera in 2003 and last year issued 300,000 citations raising almost $20 million in fines. By the end of 2007 70 intersections should be monitored and the revenue should easily top $35 million for the whole year. By late 2010 Chicago expects to photo enforce 10% of all its signalized intersection.

For hundreds of US communities red-light cameras are an easy way to create revenues without increasing taxes. Soon or later vendors of navigation devices will add red-light cameras warning to their products as they already do with speed cameras in Europe (read here our previous feature on this topic).

Friday, October 26th 2007

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