Springfield Deserves a Small Amount of Praise for Its Red Light Cameras
Don’t worry, I still detest red light cameras and think they are a total violation of our rights. I think the state should ban them throughout Missouri. However, I give Springfield some credit for truly using them for public safety purposes rather than as a back-door revenue generator. The article in the Springfield News-Leader (link via Combest, who is a very safe driver), details how the city has made almost no money from the cameras, although the company that installed them has certainly made its share.
I am not generally someone who gives much credit for intent over results (that is a mindset of the left side of the political spectrum), but I am going to make a slight exception here. I still think the people of Springfield should demand that the cameras be removed, but it is better if they are only used for traffic enforcement, and not as a money raiser. Springfield’s city traffic engineer (Earl Newman, quoted below) sums it up nicely at the end:
St. Louis’s mixture of significant additional revenue with those public safety benefits worries Newman, who is concerned the financial windfall muddies the water.
“When you’re making a lot of dollars, that means people are still running lights,” he said. “And it’s going to give the appearance it’s being done for the money.”