Early returns show promise for Constitutional Convention, other MD ballot Questions
Posted: 10:30 PM TUE, November 2, 2010
By Steve Lash
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

If early election results hold, Maryland will engage in a full scale review of the state’s constitution for the first time since 1967.


California Stop Sign Cameras

So far, just there???

After assuming that only wild creatures would witness her car roll through a remote stop sign, Wilson was stunned weeks later to get four tickets in the mail totaling $700. A hidden camera had captured her infractions on video.

Get on your guard folks, other states are sure to follow.

Much to our dismay.

Pro And Con: Does MD Need ConCon?

An article in The Daily Record by Steve Lash

Right Turn Cameras??

From the latest email that I get from PhantomALERT:

A single red light camera in Riverside, California issued $1 million worth of right-hand turn on red tickets in just one month.

The automated ticketing machine installed in March at Tyler Street at the entrance to the 91 Freeway has become the most productive of the city’s cameras and now accounts for half of the citations issued by Riverside’s vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia. The camera helped boost the grand total of citations mailed since January 2007 to 82,448 tickets worth $32,532,203. As in most California cities, Riverside’s program began with tickets issued to drivers primarily at locations where the yellow light provided insufficient warning. A 2001 report by the California State Auditor found that 77 percent of tickets in major cities were issued for split-second violations. This means that motorists who harmlessly entered the intersection a fraction of a second after the light turned red were photographed and sent a ticket. In fact, the trigger is so quick in Riverside that city documents recorded four instances early this year in which the camera generated a citation when one traffic signal facing the driver displayed a red light while a secondary signal still displayed the yellow light. Tickets in these particular cases were canceled before being dropped in the mail. Over time, drivers learned the location of these cameras and traffic volume has decreased.

So the number of citations has likewise diminished. Redflex addresses this problem by regularly installing new cameras with an emphasis on those that focus on “rolling” right-turns on red. Thanks to this strategy, Riverside saw a 28 percent increase in gross revenue over all of 2007 in just the first eight months of 2009. The Tyler Street and 91 camera accounted for nearly all of the boost, generating $1 million worth of citations in April according to data obtained by The same camera is on track to issue $11 million annually. Despite the significant revenue figures, Riverside Police insist that the cameras have one purpose: to reduce traffic fatalities. “The red signal is red for a reason. Like the ‘Wrong Way’ and ‘Stop’ signs, the lights’ red color is intended to be a strong warning to motorists of the deadly hazard in disobeying these signs,” Riverside Police Traffic Bureau Lieutenant Ken Carpenter said in a statement. According to a 2001 review of 2001 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration report, however, a mere 0.038 percent of all crashes involved a motorist who made a right-hand turn at an intersection (view report). By the odds, such accidents are so rare that an individual could drive a billion miles before being involved in a collision that resulted from a motorist making a rolling stop on a right-hand turn.

UPDATE: Traffic Cameras

This is just an FYI for any interested on this topic and what is happening throughout the country. Let’s look at L.A. for right now.

L.A. County red-light violation fines have jumped 65% to $446, Times review finds
February 4, 2010 | 7:14 am
In less than eight years, fines for red-light traffic violations in Los Angeles County have jumped nearly 65% from an average of $271 to $446.

With traffic school fees, the total now exceeds $500. Ever-vigilant photo enforcement programs run by nearly 30 agencies across the county have added a new degree of efficiency to catching violators and capturing revenue to fund a variety of government programs.

In November alone, Los Angeles County’s Superior Court system processed payments on an estimated 13,000 red-light camera tickets. And local agencies with camera systems generated nearly $1.6 million in revenue, with an even larger portion of the red-light camera fines going to a combination of state and judicial programs, according to the estimates obtained by The Times.

Critics say the fines have become excessive and mainly a means for camera companies and cities to raise money. But some police and traffic officials, as well as motorists, contend the penalties properly reflect the serious injuries, death and property damage that can result from drivers running red lights.

Los Angeles’ red-light traffic camera program, which officials report netted more than $6 million last year after expenses, could be significantly expanded under a new contract to be negotiated over the next 14 months.

Although adding more cameras could offer a welcome boost to city revenue in the midst of a fiscal crisis, officials say any expansion will be based on safety considerations.

No goal has been set, but internal City Hall discussions have included the possibility of adding cameras to blocks of eight intersections at a time and eventually doubling the overall reach of the program to 64 intersections, Los Angeles Police Department officials told The Times.

Still think it isn’t about the revenue?

UPDATE: A Tennessee town has to get rid of its red light cameras because they aren’t making money. How about that.

David Davis
Managing Editor
Sunday, Feb 07, 2010

The Red Light Enforcement Program will end March 31. Traffipax notified the city of Cleveland it would decommission five cameras such as this one at Raider Drive and Keith Street because it was losing money.

In a letter, Traffipax has announced plans to terminate its agreement with the city of Cleveland to operate the Red Light Enforcement Program. The cameras will be deactivated by March 31, according to a letter to City Manager Janice Casteel.
According to the letter dated Jan. 29, both the city of Cleveland and Traffipax have operated the sites at a financial loss. The plan is to decommission the five traffic cameras before March 31. Citation data will continue to be delivered to the city in order to continue collecting unpaid fines.

UPDATED: Speed Cameras

Governor O’Malley is claimed to have said, “The law isn’t designed to catch speeders or be a cash grab, it’s meant to get drivers to slow down.”

Then why, according to Delegate Bill Frank, is Baltimore City writing into its next fiscal year budget – revenues from such cameras?????

Update: News video from the Baltimore City Council meeting on this topic indicated that, should speed cameras be placed ‘only’ within one-half mile of schools and work zones that this would cover at least 80% of Baltimore. At least one council member found this to be unacceptable. The same argument FOR the cameras was quoted as it was heard from Gov. O’Malley (above) not that long ago.
Still, no one is being honest about the attempt at a “cash grab” from motorists to a city with budget problems. They think we don’t get it.
You DO get it, don’t you?