Lack of performance shuts down LAPD red-light cameras

Deltek Analyst Kristin Howe reports.

Debate over whether or not red-light cameras are a necessary expense is seemingly never ending. One side generally takes the position that cameras are installed for the sole purpose of increasing revenue through assigning tickets based on traffic infractions. The other side insists red-light cameras can increase safety by decreasing the number of accidents that occur at intersections. Now, it seems the city of Los Angeles may be the latest to lose its red-light cameras after a meeting of the police commission on June 7, 2011 resulted in a rejected a proposal from the police department to award a new contract to American Traffic Solutions, Inc.

The decision has to be approved by the city council before it takes effect, though it is likely to pass without a problem. The cameras were initially installed to decrease the number of traffic violations committed while allowing the city to collect fines from a larger pool of offenders than could be caught by patrol officers alone. The police commission generally feels that the cameras have failed in both missions. According to Councilman Dennis Zine, the revenues that were meant to offset the $1 million per-year cost of running the cameras and also make the city money never materialized. The city only receives approximately $150 from each $500 ticket.

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