It's about revenue
Having fought Philadelphia's red-light ticket cameras since 2002, I find Pittsburgh City Council's approval for a “pilot” red-light camera program very troubling. This actually means a permanent program to target mostly safe drivers for revenue to primarily benefit PennDOT and council.
Camera vendors do not allow their cameras to be placed in locations that are not profitable, so profits are assured, and these problem intersections will not be fixed. Once the multimillion-dollar revenue stream of profits is flowing, it is nearly impossible to stop it — regardless of any increased crash rates and any data proving little or no safety benefit. Money will then be the cameras' sole purpose, as it is already for the camera vendors and their paid PR people who apparently won the day to install their for-profit cameras in Pittsburgh.
Philadelphia's “pilot” program has generated $73.3 million since 2005 and only a statewide ban on ticket cameras could possibly kill that golden goose, despite unbiased Philadelphia Police Department data showing the cameras raised crash rates in 2005 when the program was new, and were still doing so in 2011 when the “pilot” came up for renewal. Dollars are all that count.
If the citizens of Pittsburgh allow red-light ticket cameras to be installed, there will be an increase in accidents, injuries and fatalities, as shown in 40 independent studies. After nine years of red-light ticket camera enforcement, The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial board wonders if the cameras are worth the money.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.