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Money May Keep Red Light Cameras Out of ‘Burbs

Costs may keep red light cameras in the city and out of suburban intersections.

It’s now legal for red light cameras to come to some local neighborhoods, but economics may keep them away.

In June, the legislature passed House Bill 254, which basically allowed for the cameras to be used in Montgomery, Chester, Delaware and Bucks counties as well as Pittsburgh starting in September, and reauthorize the red light camera program in Philadelphia through July 2017.

Municipalities eligible for the red light cameras would have to exceed 20,000 residents and have full-time police forces accredited by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.

That means red light cameras could be coming to:

Chester County: West Chester, West Goshen, West Whiteland townships
Delaware County: Media Borough; Haverford, Radnor, Upper Darby townships, City of Chester
Montgomery County: Lower Merion, Abington, Horsham, Lower Providence, Montgomery, Upper Dublin and Upper Merion townships and Norristown Borough

Cameras Cost Money

A report from the Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Committee says each camera has to generate more than 300 tickets per month to pay for its costs, according to an article in the Pennsylvania Independent, and
violations from cameras can drop off as much as half in a year.

The report suggested that only Pittsburgh, and not the suburban communities have the right conditions to make the cameras self-sustaining, the Pennsylvania Independent wrote.


What do you think about red light cameras? Should they be in the suburbs? Is it worth having the municipality pay the overhead for the added safety? Let us know in the comments.

Morgan King August 09, 2012 at 07:45 PM
It's not just a causal connection - the Federal DoT has gathered data on it. The presence of red light cameras decreases right-angle accidents by 24.6% and increases rear end crashes by 14.9% - which might be a good trade, except as far as injuries go, right angle accidents were reduced by 15.7%, and rear end injuries shot up 24%. A similar study in Texas showed that in the presence of red light cameras, the actual crash rate remained unchanged, and they observed rear end collisions up a crazy 56%! http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/05049/ http://tti.tamu.edu/group/stsc/files/2011/03/Red-light-camera-effectiveness-070610-w-Garland-correction.pdf
Seavet1 August 10, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Thanks Morgan I read the studiesn and believe the studies cited address the wrong question, the issue of red light camera’s effectiveness may be questionable and I still maintain having looked at the web sites there is a tangential and hardly causal relationship. What I have been referring to is speed cameras and the British Journal of Medicine(Feb 2005) published and extensive study of the effects of speed cameras on accident rates and fatality rates, which was very positive for the use of cameras .
Mildred Roberts October 01, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Set an upper age limit for a Driver's License and you'll be making progress.
Adrian Seltzer October 05, 2012 at 06:51 AM
If the car is registered to you, you get the ticket, not the driver.
Adrian Seltzer October 05, 2012 at 06:54 AM
Spend the money on either smart traffic lights or at least time them properly. Dumb iron wastes time and gas, lessens productivity and is really annoying.

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