18 thoughts on “Red Light Cameras Due in August”

  1. Yippee! A couple of days ago, I saw four cars go through the red light at Rdige and W. Main.

  2. Boo. The gov’t should not hand law enforcement over to private companies. I assume that is what is happening with this so-called “lease”. From the article:

    “It will be a temporary program,” Boyd said. “It’s a month-by-month rent — actually, lease — we can have the equipment, so we can stop it at any time. I think we’ll give it a year.”

    “We can have the equipment” presumably means the county is paying nothing up front. The company gets a cut of every ticket and send the county the balance. That is normally how these deals have worked.

    I hate red light runners, but the county should be doing this job itself, with or without cameras. Democracy. I think tax farming went out in the 17th century.

  3. ” The gov’t should not hand law enforcement over to private companies.” Why not, we have private trash haulers. It’s the courts that will be enforcing the law, right?

  4. Is it handing law enforcement over to a private company to lease specialized equipment that is used during law enforcement? If (and I know we don’t do this, but if) we leased certain police cruisers or some kind of super-specialized vehicle to use as part of some new law enforcement initiative, would that mean we were handing over law enforcement to Ford or Toyota or whoever we leased the vehicle from?

    I’m not sure how the county is not doing this job themselves just because they’re not purchasing the equipment outright — they’re leasing it. It seems like leasing it makes sense if they’re not sure they’ll keep the program forever. Wouldn’t they get crucified if they spent the money on buying the equipment?

    I’m all for red-light cameras, by the way. And also for traffic roundabouts, with which I’ve fallen in love.

  5. When we lease police cruisers, do we give a cut of every ticket to Ford? Because that’s typically how these red light camera deals work. They are bad news, and there are tons of reports of the operators subtly manipulating things to ensure lots of tickets (primarily by shortening the length of the yellow light).

  6. Yes, each month we pay the lease. Besides, lights at intersections can be videoed and timed.

  7. Sad but the companies that sell the red light camera’s shorten the yellow so the county can make more money. This has been proven. Just see how short the yellow will become and good luck in court trying to fight it. Albemarle County has become this money grubbing machine. They think they will make tons of money charging for ambulance service (it will be years before they see a dime in profit.) Shame on the supervisors for their fiscal irresponsibility.

  8. @Who Knew:

    “This has been proven.”

    Sounds interesting. Can you provide links to substantiate this?

  9. It’s my understanding that the lights along 29N are controlled by a very expensive computer programs the city and county use to keep the lights in sync. I find it hard to believe that control of that program will be turned over to a camera company that will override the years of experimentation and the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on employees just to hear the same complaints that they started with.

  10. C’ville Eye, when has hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on studies guaranteed that a decent solution has been arrived at, particularly locally?

  11. @the boss of me, I didn’t mean to imply what you said. I meant that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in employee salaries and equipment. I don’t know if there has been a suitable solution implemented. But it seems they keep working at it. Thanks for a dreary day chuckle.

  12. I find it hard to imagine that the yellow light at the intersection of 29N and Rio could be shortened any shorter than it already is.

  13. Here’s what red-light cameras can lead to:
    You see, giving companies law enforcement powers leads to massive corruption. That should be obvious, but somehow “leased police cars” are relevant? Here are some juicy quotes from the New Orleans Times-Picayune article on how it works…

    Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix, Ariz., arranged to pay… a former New Orleans City Council member 3.2 percent of the cash it expects to make off fines from drivers… “I think it’s necessary for the administration to take a step back, do some inquiring and determine who can get paid from this,” Roberts said Monday. “As a citizen, I think people would have a right to be upset about these payments.” Roberts said he began questioning Redflex last fall after hearing speculation that some individuals were getting a cut of the program’s proceeds. The company’s slow response to his requests for information and the fact that its attorneys became involved implies that Redflex did not plan to disclose the payment arrangements, Roberts said.

    The payments were to lobby a politically-connected player so another company would not get the contract.

    So are cop badges awarded to the lowest bidder? Or to the most corrupt company? That is where this kind of irresponsible outsourcing leads.

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