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Red Light Camera Corruption

From a story in USA Today:

Local governments hungry for revenue are signing contracts with red-light camera companies that put profit over traffic safety, according to a new study by a national public interest advocacy group.

Some contracts restrict police from doing things like lengthening the yellow signal and leave taxpayers holding the bag if the contracts are terminated early, says the report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the federation of state public interest research groups.


The deals “sometimes prevent local governments from acting in the best interests of their citizens, especially when the terms of the deal prioritize delivering profits for the shareholders or owners of the private firm,” the report says. When local governments privatize traffic enforcement, they usually retain some role. Some contracts, though, limit government powers to set and enforce traffic regulations.

Yellow-light duration, for example, has long been a contentious point in the red-light camera debate.

Lengthening a yellow signal gives drivers more time to react to a signal change, thus reducing the number of red-light violations.

“However, some contracts potentially impose financial penalties on the city if traffic engineers extend the length of the yellow light at intersections, which would reduce the number of tickets the systems can issue,” the report says

Do you know who was the first institutional investor in American Traffic Solutions, whose worker is pictured in the story?  None other than the center of evil in the universe, Goldman Sachs.

Raise revenues and the public good be damned!

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