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Monday, May 11, 2009

Stopping revenue cameras

A new move is on to stop or adjust revenue cameras (Also known as red light and speed cameras). The cameras have come in and out of favor the last few years. Many local communities have put them in to see a revenue jump and later taken them out as public outcry has increased.

The argument most used for implementation is they are purely for safety. Not revenue. The facts of the claim go back and forth. Most agree side impacts go down slightly but rear impacts and whiplash go up dramatically for red light cameras. No known impact of speed cameras is known by me but with both, the revenue question is not a question. They make money, and lots of it.

The pubic outcry has been strong against the cameras. The state is now ready to get into the mix. How to stop them has become an issue. Baning a revenue generator was met with harsh criticism a few years ago. But the thought of taking the money from the locals? Suddenly I think we may need a little more time to discuss this important safety topic.

The latest ideas have come from other states. Some are mandating that the money raised go into drivers ed courses in schools. Others want the state to just take the money outright and put it in their general fund or use it for education.

With revenue shortfalls, Tennessee is looking at plans to do some revenue shifting. Will the money go for education or to general fund is the big question. I am sure the state will be fine with allowing the locals to keep the increased "safety".

As you can imagine the locals are not for those plans so much. With the additional revenue generated gone the motivation for additional "safety" diminishes. Most of the local communities take the cameras out in short order or forgo the implementation of new ones.

Not worth the pain in the neck.

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