Donna Anderson
June 17, 2013

They’ll tell you that those speed cameras help make the roadways safer but states and counties across the nation are reporting an increase in accident rates, instead. The only thing those speed cameras are really good for is raising revenue – and they’re not even very good at that.

In her June 6 report for, GiGi Erneta said, “Judge Robert R. Ruehlman of Hamilton, Ohio said that the Elmwood Place speed cameras were ‘just a case of three-card Monte, or a sham,’ and in Baltimore “one of these dependable speed cameras gave a speeding ticket to a motionless car.”

Speed cameras are generally installed at dangerous high-traffic intersections. As a way to pass the legislation and fund the project, lawmakers claim they’ll help reduce accidents because knowing there’s a camera in the intersection will cause people to stop, instead of speeding through the intersection before the light changes.

However, a study conducted by the New Jersey Department of Transportation shows that accident rates actually increase in intersections with cameras. Drivers are forced to make a split-second decision: speed up and hope the light doesn’t change before they make it through the intersection, or slam on the brakes and risk being rear-ended. Either way, there’s an accident just waiting to happen.

“Red light cameras are just another way for counties and cities to steal millions from citizens while denying due process of law,” says Erneta. But, according to reports, the cities aren’t even doing that well.

Due to poor-quality photos and fake tickets, counties and cities using speed cameras aren’t bringing in as much money as you might think. In 2009, Pinal County, Arizona reported that its two cameras were activated 11,416 times from September 2007 to 2009, resulting in 7,290 citations. Only 3,711 were paid, totaling $124,199.42 in fines collected. After administrative fees it left the county a net profit of only $12,391.58 which lawmakers considered a “paltry” sum.

Just this month, speed cameras in Sugar Land, Texas, brought in $175,996 in revenue during the first quarter of 2012-13. After $13,694 in expenditures, the remaining revenue was $162,302, representing less than 1 percent of the city’s budget.

So it sounds like the only ones who really profit from the speed cameras are the insurance companies who get to raise your rates when you’re rear-ended at the traffic light, and the speed camera company itself, Redflex, who is currently being investigated for allegedly bribing City Hall officials in Chicago and issuing fake tickets to increase their revenue.

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