Red Light Cameras: Too Effective for a City’s Own Good?

The Bremerton Police Department is still in the testing phase of its brand new red light cameras, recently installed around the city. But when they officially turn on, officials hope they’ll curb accidents and, secondarily, produce a monetary side-effect that funds a few more officers to patrol the city’s streets.

But an MSNBC story poses an interesting question about the cameras: What if they work too well, and motorists become so cautious that red-light running revenue dries up?

In Dallas, Texas, MSNBC says, that’s exactly what’s happening. Accidents are falling in number, but so too is revenue from tickets — down from $15 million to about $4 million.

They’ve even started shutting some cameras down.

Bremerton, however, may be a bit of a unique community. It’s large transient population (due mainly to Navy sailors coming and going with ships and subs), may never truly grow accustomed to the cameras.

But it will be intriguing to see how the cameras fare over time. Anyone care to speculate?

One thought on “Red Light Cameras: Too Effective for a City’s Own Good?

  1. In 2006 we spent a few days in and around Davis, Ca.(a collage town). They have a number of red light cameras and signs advising that running a red light will cost approx. $300. We didn’t see anyone even coming close to running a red light. I don’t doubt that it happens but we didn’t see it.
    I have often wondered why they don’t also use fake cameras and rotate them with the real ones or maybe just randomly monitor the cameras. That would reduce the man power and nobody would know where to challenge the lights.

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