One California community is not only giving up the revenue generated by
red-light cameras, it's also paying extra for the privilege of doing so.
Recently, the Oceanside City Council voted 3-2 to
terminate its contract with Redflex, the Arizona-based company that is one of the largest red-light
camera providers in the world. Because of this action, the city must pay
a $19,200 early termination fee. Councilmember Gary Felien, who proposed
the measure, stated that a "large majority" of people wanted
the cameras gone, and many were losing their faith in government because
of what they saw as a money-grab. One speaker at the meeting said the
cameras drastically increased driver tension, while another called the
cameras a form of "entrapment."
Oceanside is the 60
th city in The Golden State to stop using red-light cameras.
Traffic laws are a balancing act between municipal revenue and roadway
safety in California. Governments, such as the City of Bakersfield, depend
on the income generated by traffic ticket fines to fund important public
services, and motorists have a right to reasonable safety during their trips.
Problems arise when the scales don't balance. While some traffic laws,
such as laws against unsafe lane changes, are clearly geared toward safety,
others are not.