Dallas Red Light Cameras a Victim of Their Own Success

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
dallas red light cameras a victim of their own success

The Dallas News reports that the Live Large, Think Big city is dealing with another consequences of red light cameras: they work. "We did not anticipate having such success so early with the number of people not running red lights," said Zaida Basora, Dallas' assistant director of public works and transportation. "If you have success in safety, you don't have a lot of success in revenue. The other side is the people will go back to what they were doing before without the cameras." Since installing the cameras, Dallas estimates gross revenue from red light cameras dropped from $14m to $4m. The kicker? Dallas signed a contract guaranteeing the system's operators $3800 per camera per month. Dallas is now planning on scaling back to just 100 cameras (that's $380k per month to the sys admin). Last month, Dallas faced accusations of race-biased camera placement. So is the shut down a financial issue or just an out for last month's problems? One wonders which cameras were switched off.. but it's probably both.

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  • GS650G GS650G on Mar 17, 2008

    How do I become a red light camera provider for a large urban area? This beats working for a living, you can sit back and wait for the check. Once ina while repair vandalism damage to a camera or install a new one and your set.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Mar 17, 2008

    GS, You bring up a good point. Has there been a lot of vandalism that we are not hearing about? Honestly, we are talking about Texas here. I am quite sure that if they put one of these in Lufkin (or other more rural local) it would get shot within a few days for the first violations hitting the mail boxes, if not before. I haven't been accused by one of these little toll booths, but I am thinking that a new shot gun would be a good antidote for my anger if I were.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Mar 17, 2008

    The artcle in the Dallas Morning News is very good. Good that they quoted National Motorists Association as well as a local opponent. It is interesting that Dallas didn't shorten the yellow light, which is what usually happens, in order to boost revenue. Each camera would have to ticket 50 people a month for Dallas to break even. That and the fact that they are not breaking even suggests that there is very little red light running in Dallas.

  • TexasAg03 TexasAg03 on Mar 17, 2008
    The Dallas News reports that the Live Large, Think Big city is dealing with another consequences of red light cameras: they work. Minor detail here; the paper is called The Dallas Morning News. Dallas News is just their URL. Back to the story, I think it is hilarious that the cameras are apparently not going to pay for themselves. Hopefully, they won't cause many more rear-end collisions...