February 1, 2011 By News Report
New data from the research arm of the insurance industry gives fresh ammunition to those who say automated enforcement saves lives. Installing cameras that allow police to remotely photograph and ticket drivers who run red lights cuts fatalities caused by those violations -- and appears to reduce deaths not directly related to stop light violations, a study released Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds. "The average annual rate of all fatal crashes at signalized intersections decreased by 14 percent for cities with camera programs and increased slightly (2 percent) for cities without cameras," concluded the report. "After controlling for population density and land area, the rate of fatal red light running crashes during 2004-08 for cities with camera programs was an estimated 24 percent lower than what would have been expected without cameras." Wall Street Journal
Red-Light Fines to Charity to Prove no Financial Motive?
A Southern California city may donate red light camera fines to local charities in an effort to convince skeptics that safety is the motive behind the cameras, not a money grab. Murietta Councilman Rick Gibbs suggested the charity idea when the cameras have led to complaints the city uses the cameras to make money. Sacramento Bee
Arizona Bill Targets License-Plate Covers
An Arizona lawmaker has proposed a statewide ban on covers or substances used to obstruct photo-enforcement systems from capturing license plate information. Arizona Republic
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.