Red-light cameras recently received another black eye.
Just a few weeks after a major newspaper began asking some serious questions
about red-light camera tickets in
Chicago, officials in
New Jersey asked courts to dismiss 17,000 tickets, because the motorists never received
a written notice. Automated Traffic Solutions, the responsible company,
blamed a "server configuration change" for the lapse; the company
claimed that the 17,000 dismissals represented a "small percentage
of overall red-light safety camera violations."
An increasing number of lawmakers are calling for New Jersey to end its
red-light camera program in December, when the contracts come up for renewal.
Despite the mounting controversy, the Bakersfield City Council recently voted to
extend its photo-enforcement contract with Redflex for at least another year.
There was only one dissenting vote.
Police claim that, in the program's 11 years, there's been a 50
percent reduction in broadside and rear-end crashes near intersections.
That claim may be
suspect, and the city is probably more interested in the $70,000 per year in revenue
than in increasing roadway safety. Given the growing concerns over the
way these companies operate, and the rather negligible safety effect that
red-light cameras may have, it seems clear that at least some city council
members may have been seeing dollar signs during this vote.
If you receive a red-light camera ticket in Bakersfield, contact an attorney
right away. The system has had some reliability issues, and an experienced
lawyer can quickly assess the situation and inform you of your rights.