Emeryville has joined the growing list of cities (including Berkeley, L.A. and Cupertino) that have decided to end their use of red-light cameras. Citing among the reasons for taking down the devices is that they were too time-consuming to oversee. Many cities see these automated devices as “Cash Cows”. In fact the red-light Camera at 40th & Horton issued 3120 citations in 2011 at $508 a piece (That’s $1,584,960 in revenue!). The reporter in this segment says the city “makes $1,000’s”. If this is the case, where does the rest of this revenue go? Apparently a State Mandate required the lions’ share of this revenue go to Sacramento and it ended up COSTING the city over $100,000 a year (huh?). I personally can’t tell you how many times I saw these Camera’s go off at arbitrary times leaving drivers with a dumbfounded look on their faces. To me, this brings in to question their reliability.
An unanimous vote by our city council on May 15th was issued to cancel the contract with the company that maintains them. Mayor Jennifer West cited the lack of a human element and the inability of automation to determine special circumstances such as drivers avoiding dangerous road conditions and obstacles for her vote. Despite this unanimous vote, the ticket issuing continued for an additional six weeks. Fighting these tickets in court is apparently a frustrating and futile process. Another SFGate article details a state bill by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) to prohibit cities or counties from using the cameras purely to raise cash. | KTVU Special Report →