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Links of the Day:

– Rochester’s red light cameras are raking in the dough. The Democrat and Chronicle reports the cameras have brought in $600,000 so far. The city is authorized to have 50 monitored intersections. Twenty-eight are up and running. The revenue puts to rest concerns the cameras would not be profitable.

Rochester began installing cameras in October 2010, saying the devices were intended to be a public safety measure, not a revenue generator. Police have said it would take three years to have comparative data showing whether the cameras are effective in changing motorist behavior and reducing crashes.

“We should have enough data,” argued City Council member Elaine Spaull, whose initial concern about the cameras’ financial implications have been addressed but not her uncertainty about their promise to reduce accidents. “Is it affecting safety? … That’s a question we should keep asking.”

I am doubtful the cameras will impact safety for a couple reasons. The monitored intersections are not at all clearly marked with warning signs. The number of tickets issued at intersections have been steady, so the cameras have not been a deterrent.

– The state has given Eastman Business Park a 3-year reprieve on making the required $40 million upgrade to its power plant. I am doubtful that will help efforts to sell the park, though it may calm tenants down.

– Slaughter’s leg injury puts her age front and center in the congressional race.

Rochester was the answer to a Jeopardy question.

An Austrian village with an unfortunate name will vote on a change.

8 Responses to Camera Cash Cow

  1. I would like to know how many rear ender accidents there have been before and after at those intersections. I know I tend to slam on my brakes in the city now which I feel is more dangerous than going through on yellow. Time will tell.

  2. Red light cameras are being taken down in bigger cities all over the US, but this city keeps adding more. The cameras are being called into question regarding whether they are preventing anything and if they are even constitutional: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/08/25/on-red-light-cameras-and-the-constitution/

    The city is clearly using them as a revenue generator, period.

  3. April 18, 2012 at 10:18 am Michele responds:

    I would like to know exactly where the revenue is going!

  4. I have noticed people applying their brakes at intersections where the red-light cameras are mounted, even when the light is green. This has the potential of causing rear-end collisions. I don’t believe tickets are issued for going through yellow lights, as long as the light is green while approaching a designated intersection. However, the fear factor is definitely present, thus causing people to slow down while the lights are still green. I am therefore not convinced about a positive safety factor in relation to the red-light cameras.

  5. April 18, 2012 at 11:45 am lynn e responds:

    There will be a backlash and it will be swift when it happens.

  6. They have nothing to do with safety. I live near where one was installed and never saw an accident before, and I drive through there several times a day. They only exist to generate money. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either naive or in on the scam.

  7. April 19, 2012 at 10:02 am James Simons responds:

    An easy fix to the breaking problem at these intersections would be to install the crosswalk countdown electronic signs like they have at Culver and Main. You can see it count down towards a yellow and red light and you know how much time you have.

    That being said, these cameras are clearly revenue generators with safety as an excuse. I also find it odd that the majority of the cameras are in poorer neighborhoods, with very few in the more well-to-do southeast section of the city.

  8. All good comments. Flashing camera lights at drivers crossing busy intersections is not about promoting safety obviously. And it conditions people to slam on the brakes at the first sign of a yellow light. Take a look at my blog post from today on this issue.


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