New Castle News

Community News Network

February 27, 2014

Red-light cameras click less as towns get Orwell off roads

(Continued)

The controversy exemplifies the tension in local governments between protecting public safety within the limits of financial resources and residents' tolerance. It can be a difficult balance.

Brick Township, which in 2010 became one of New Jersey's first municipalities to install cameras, shut them down Feb. 17, after generating 74,000 tickets. The treasury of the seaside town collected $800,000 in fines last year alone.

"It's wrong to try to balance a budget on ill-gotten gains from a program that's premised on safety," said Mayor John Ducey, adding that police data showed crashes actually increased in the community of 75,000.

"I can find other ways to have some savings and bring in revenue," Ducey said.

Supporters say cameras promote safety and allow police money and time to fight serious crime. In St. Louis, which is appealing this month's ruling, the force has shrunk about one- third in the past 15 years, said Chief Sam Dotson. The city has cameras at 35 intersections.

"I just don't have the resources to be able to focus on traffic enforcement like we used to," Dotson said, adding that the system has "reduced accidents, kept people safe and allowed me to focus on crime reduction and not traffic enforcement."

Chicago, which carries the largest per-capita debt load among the 25 largest U.S. cities, has reaped more than $300 million since 2003 from cameras at 190 intersections. New York will expand its program as part of a plan to reduce speed in the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Feb. 20.

The Insurance Institute issued a report in 2011 showing that large cities with longstanding camera systems reported 24 percent fewer crashes from running red lights. In 2012, 683 people were killed and an estimated 133,000 were injured in such crashes, according to the organization.

Cameras lose support when programs give the impression that the main goal is to generate revenue, said Russ Rader, a spokesman for the institute. Communities must clearly communicate that devices are being installed at intersections with a history of crashes, he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

House Ads
Poll

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results