Government Technology

Backlash for Red-Light Cameras Hasn’t Slowed Spread

February 26, 2013 By

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.

  • California (84)
  • Illinois (75)
  • Florida (69)
  • Texas (64)
  • Maryland (33)
  • Missouri (33)

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

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.

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James C. Walker    |    Commented February 27, 2013

Red light cameras are on the way out, it will just take some more time. The revenue nature of the cameras and the unfairness of the traffic light engineering to make them profitable is becoming well known. Once citizens understand the predatory revenue purpose for the cameras, they almost always become opponents. The opponents win most of the time - it just takes patience and a LOT of safe drivers to be punished unfairly before the cameras are removed. The entire industry is corrupt and immoral and it will end. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

BNarry Wellar    |    Commented February 28, 2013

Please, predatory revenue purpose? It is far more expensive to station traffic enforcement police at four legs of an intersection for several hours each day much less 24/7 to serve exactly the same purpose, that is, address the death and injury toll created by those who run red lights. Red light cameras deal with those who reckessly endanger others, and the cost of tickets is chicken feed compared to the cost of loss of life, lifetime injury, etc. End of story.

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