February 26, 2013 By Daniel C. Vock
When it comes to red-light cameras, New Jersey Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon says the people in his state have had enough. Nothing, he says, has generated more feedback in his five years as a legislator than his fight against the cameras.
“People realize the government is institutionalizing a system to rip them off,” says O’Scanlon, a Republican. The public is upset and problems in New Jersey led to a brief suspension of its traffic cameras last summer.
Where Are the Red-Light Cameras?
There are 543 communities in the United States that use red-light cameras. More than half of them are located in just four states. This list shows states with the highest number of communities using red-light cameras.
The outcry goes far beyond New Jersey. Traffic cameras spark heated debate nearly everywhere they are considered, and they are on legislative agendas throughout the country. This year, lawmakers in 22 states have filed more than 100 bills dealing with traffic cameras, says Anne Teigen, a senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.