Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Once Again, On the Money

We comment that we'd like to see a breakdown of what "Red Light Cameras" generated at their respective intersections when installed compared to how they do today. And we speculated that the numbers trended downward as more people learned and adapted their driving behaviors. Then we get this in the e-mail a few days ago:
  • Dallas City Hall has idled more than one-fourth of the 62 cameras that monitor busy intersections because many of them are failing to generate enough red-light-running fines to justify their operational costs, according to city documents.

    Initial gross revenue estimates for the red light camera system during Dallas' 2007-08 fiscal year were $14.8 million, according to city records. The latest estimate? About $6.2 million. City Manager Mary Suhm on Friday estimated net revenue will fall $4.1 million under initial estimates.

    That leaves Dallas government with a conundrum. Its red-light camera system has been an effective deterrent to motorists running red lights – some monitored intersections have experienced a more than 50 percent reduction. But decreased revenue from red light-running violations means significantly less revenue to maintain the camera program and otherwise fuel the city's general fund.
We aren't sure what the revenue sharing agreement might be in place here with the red light camera installers. But if the contractor isn't recouping their layout, the only option for them is to remove the cameras or renegotiate the contract with increasing fines to make up the shortfalls (see the dead body removal contract that was re-bid when Chicagoans weren't dying fast enough to meet the contract prices).

All part of the vicious circle pointed out yesterday.

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30 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well let's see... Democrats are in charge, so they will just keep increasing fines until they have maybe one offender a year paying the 75-million dollar fail to stop at red light fine.

3/17/2008 11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well let's applaud this gov program. A gov program that actually worked in reducing violations and increasing safety.

It worked by means of penalizing those that disobey red lights with fines in order to encourage everyone to follow the law, the rules of the road. I guess the expense of the system justified its costs. But wait. What was the real purpose behind these cameras? To reduce violations or to generate revenue?

Similar to the curfew and school absentee laws. If everyone one was home by curfew or in school the enforcement policy would indicate that it has accomplished its goal. But 35th street would complain to the districts that the index is down, much as city hall is complaining that revenue is down. I can see now that city hall will figure out something else like speed cameras until everyone starts traveling at the posted speed limit. It's always been about $$$ and not the safety of the citizens.


Sam Bass

3/17/2008 11:34:00 PM  
Anonymous HATER said...

THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN CHANGED THE COST OF THE CAMERAS HAS DROPPED.

A FOIA REQUEST CAN BEEN SENT. TO ASK FOR THE STATS IF YOU REALLY CARE.

OR YOU CAN ASK UR ALD. BURKE HE HAS THE STATS ON HIS DESK...

3/17/2008 11:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, it's an infection that's spread everywhere, this treating the making of laws as a means of 'revenue enhancement', aka taxes on selective citizens based on their behaviors.

The rational of these types of regulatory and prohibitory laws is purported to be to encourage/require certain behaviors and to discourage/prohibit certain behaviors, said encouragements and discouragements being the imposition of fines upon those not complying with said laws.

In reality, these laws primary purpose, raising revenue, depends upon people not complying.

What an ass backwards way of thinking.

Typical of the numerous dishonesties inherent in the minds of the typical politicians who have thoroughly infested our governments at all levels and in every state of our union.

And we buy into the surface rational and pathetically reelect these rascals over and over and over.

What the hell ever happened to our collective self respect?

3/18/2008 12:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

instead of red light cameras, little richie should explore cell phone cameras. everywhere you go people are on cell phones while driving. he could make billions and we may get a contract finally. the city of big shoulders is now the city of empty pockets.

3/18/2008 12:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember back in the day, when traffic control and signage and lighting were to prevent crashes and keep our fellow Chicagoans from getting killed in this crazy traffic? Now, it's just about the money.

3/18/2008 12:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the city needs to do is mess with the timing of the lights. make soem yellows longer soem shorter. Make it random to catch people that have adpoted their driving habits.

3/18/2008 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy White Fang Batman!!!

Another huge bite into my wallet.

3/18/2008 02:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry too much about it, the red light cameras along south Pulaski between 55th and 83rd snag enough illegals to offset their costs. I think a bunch of them claim they left their Texas driver's licenses back home in Dallas.

3/18/2008 05:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That explains a certain Capt before he made Commander attending roll call each day laying down the hammer about how are ticket numbers are down from last year. How if our numbers didnt go up he'd be rearranging the men and women on the beat cars. What he probably meant was REVENUE for Don Daley has fallen. Every time I right a ticket, I feel like a juice collector for the City Hall Gang. And I thought there wasnt a QUOTA?

Did it ever occur to this particular boss that the people who use our city streets have been learning their lesson and are no longer committing those same infractions, in the same district, on the same beat? What an asshole!

3/18/2008 05:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet the city will just make the yellow light go a little bit faster to the red light in order to generate more revenue.

3/18/2008 06:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But if Chicago stopped the cameras how would daley be able to payoff his friends?

3/18/2008 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HATER said...
THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN CHANGED THE COST OF THE CAMERAS HAS DROPPED.

A FOIA REQUEST CAN BEEN SENT. TO ASK FOR THE STATS IF YOU REALLY CARE.

OR YOU CAN ASK UR ALD. BURKE HE HAS THE STATS ON HIS DESK...

3/17/2008 11:58:00 PM

On his desk? So his D-3 boys can shuffle his papers after they shine the boys shoes!

3/18/2008 07:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

enforce any law hard enough and you will achive compliance.
daley should have consulted an expert.....like a policeman.
he would have been advised to make these cameras mobile.....like on a trailer.
stupid is as stupid does.

3/18/2008 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ticket quotas?..they're illegal, no? Well, maybe some of the defense lawyers should ask that question of the arresting officer ("officer, did you issue this ticket as part of a quota established by your boss?")....when the officer answers, yes!, well, it could get interesting...

3/18/2008 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger 85 zebra said...

Looking for a spot to write a report or drink your coffee? Why not kill time near a photo intersection? If you save any motorists from the ticket by slowing them down...you have done a good deed.

3/18/2008 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also part of the Dallas Tx story was about sunny California and the push for green friendly cars with increased mileage to "save the enviroment". Incentives were given to Cali drivers to use mileage friendly cars and the residents of this fine state complied......but now tax revenues from gasoline sales are down and California politians are faced with a dilemma......less cash to spend, cash thats already been budgeted, what to do??? Your first guess will be right....RAISE gas taxes to cover the short fall. Again, it's not about the enviroment or going green it's about cash to spend on cradle to grave programs that most of use never see a penny of.

3/18/2008 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they outlaw GPS navigation systems from providing a warning for intersection cameras?

3/18/2008 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous TheHatisBack said...

Anonymous said...
ticket quotas?..they're illegal, no? Well, maybe some of the defense lawyers should ask that question of the arresting officer ("officer, did you issue this ticket as part of a quota established by your boss?")....when the officer answers, yes!, well, it could get interesting...

3/18/2008 01:37:00 PM

...............

We don't have "quotas", we have "indexes" that way we can tell people we do not have "quotas"

PLEASE NOTE SARCASM

3/18/2008 07:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if there were any long term studies by an independent group that could have predicted the drop off in revenue?

3/18/2008 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

enforce any law hard enough and you will achive compliance.
daley should have consulted an expert.....like a policeman.
he would have been advised to make these cameras mobile.....like on a trailer.
stupid is as stupid does.

3/18/2008 12:17:00 PM

Exactly. Once a behavior is learned, people adapt. The City needs to have negative reinforcement that is intermittant rather than fixed in order to generate revenue...if revenue rather than safety is the goal.

3/18/2008 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I drive around all day watching people talking on their cell phones (sometimes im on mine too). Are we suppose to be pulling them over and writing them a ticket??

3/19/2008 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True story;Im at a red light the other day with a young po. She's yap n on her cell phone, im yap n on my cell phone. A middle aged women pulls up along side us and she is yap n on her cell phone. I look in the rearview mirror and there is this "HOT BABE" yap n on her cell phone.The light turns green,i wave to the lady along side us & we all go on on merry way! Isnt that NICE????

3/19/2008 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a Bribe Cam at city Hall. It would generate millions.

3/19/2008 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that the city has nothing to do with the ownership, operation or maintenance of the cameras. The contracted company owns, installs and maintains the equipment for a fee of 50% of all collected rev.

3/19/2008 05:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get what you're saying about revenue, and the assumption that the city is most interested in revenue ...

But you have to admit this is a good thing if people are changing their behavior.

I believe it's habit forming. I'm sure some people become aware of lights with cameras and lights without, but most people can't keep track of that. They must be getting better about running lights.

I'm not a cop, so I don't really monitor this sort of thing, but I feel like I see less light-running than I used to.

3/19/2008 10:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OR YOU CAN ASK UR ALD. BURKE HE HAS THE STATS ON HIS DESK...

3/17/2008 11:58:00 PM

Or on the desk of one of those revenue committee staffers. You know, the ones that have to come to work now, since the scandal broke where all 19 of them were ghost payrollers and he blamed it on his dead former chief of staff, as if he didn't notice that an entire office of 19 people reporting directly to him never came to the office ...

Eddie B ... Do you think he's moved on to less dangerous forms of stealing, or is there some chance Fitzgerald will cotch 'im.

It was really nice to see Vrdolyak back in the news the other day. Another great reminder of what scum the voters of this city were willing to elect as long as they weren't black.

3/19/2008 10:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How about a Bribe Cam at city Hall. It would generate millions.

3/19/2008 12:37:00 PM"


More like Billions.

3/20/2008 12:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why hasn't any money been paid back to the city from those convicted in the truck scandel?

3/20/2008 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why hasn't any money been paid back to the city from those convicted in the truck scandel?

3/20/2008 10:13:00 PM"


Why haven't a substantial portion of the money's received by the incompetents mismanaging our city and county governments been returned to the taxpayers?

Why haven't a substantial portion of the money's paid to the many co-conspirators enabling criminally fraudulent activities to flourish been returned to the taxpayers?

back to the city from those convicted in the truck scandel?

3/20/2008 10:13:00 PM"


Why haven't a substantial portion of the money's received by the incompetents mismanaging our city and county governments been returned to the taxpayers?

Why haven't a substantial portion of the money's paid to the many 'private' contractors, consultants, investment brokers, etc., whose arrangements with the city and county governments are substantially for their benefit, and not primarily for the benefits of the citizens, been returned to the taxpayers?

Why haven't those elected officials responsible for the past, present and ongoing wastes of our tax dollars been denied reelection and been compelled to restore those funds their irresponsible and criminal actions have stolen from the taxpayers?

Why do the citizens of this city and county continue to allow dishonest liars, panderers and bullshit artists to remain in elected offices?

Why do citizens fail to register to vote, or, if registered, fail to vote in every election?

Why do citizens pathetically accept the routinely fraudulent and deceptive misuse of the election laws pertaining to ballot access, which the corruption friendly, incumbent controlled appointees regularly use to deny honest citizens the opportunity to challenge the incumbent office holders?

Why do so many citizens do so little, to the point of imbecility, to resist the plundering of their earned incomes, by the very type of thieves that they would have no problem recognizing, were they to come knocking on their doors or come crawling through an open window at, say, 2AM?

Democracy only works for the citizen when the citizen works at Democracy.

As in everything else in life, garbage, in garbage out proves true.

3/22/2008 11:46:00 AM  

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