San Juan Capistrano may have been one of the first cities to do away with some traffic enforcement cameras. Since then, 60 other cities, including Anaheim and Santa Ana, have followed suit. Now, the movement is spreading east.
In April 2014, South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard took a tough stand against an Iowa speed trap. When motorists are driving westbound on Interstate 29, the speed limit suddenly drops from 65 mph to 55 mph just across the border. The speed limit is camera-enforced. Now, when Iowa sends a request to the South Dakota DMV for a name and address, South Dakota will not provide that information. With no current address, the state of Iowa, and the camera company, will see no money.
Small town sheriffs chased down Tin Lizzies on foot to enforce a 12 mph speed limit, speed limits once increased and decreased on the same road with no discernible pattern and patrol officers once hid behind billboards at the county line. It is now becoming clear that speeding cameras are the modern-day equivalent of these speed traps.
One indication is the fraud involved. Last year, a Redflex official admitted that the company bribed officials across the country to convince them to install traffic enforcement cameras. Moreover, studies regarding the effect of cameras on roadway safety in Bakersfield have had mixed results, at best. An industry study claimed that cameras saved 15 lives between 2004 and 2008; however, in Florida, rear-end collisions at stoplights have increased 35% since cameras were installed in 2010. The days of traffic enforcement cameras may well be numbered.