Color us aghast. Can you imagine, a red-light camera program that's not about safety?
Why, it turns out that all along we've been deceived. It's about ... yes ... the money.
Gosh, imagine that.
While angry motorists have turned to everything from the ballot box to detectors with camera databases, camera enforcement devices continue to spread across this great land of ours. The only time they go away, apparently, is when they don't make money.
In Santa Maria, California, camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) ended its contract with the city after deciding the system, which it inherited from a different (and bankrupt) vendor it took over, wasn't generating sufficient revenue.
ATS not only shut down the system, it removed all the equipment. Which meant that Santa Maria had to dismiss all violations issued as a result of the cameras, since the city no longer had the necessary evidence to prove the alleged infractions. From 2010 Toyota Prius greens all the way up to 2010 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 racers ... everyone's tickets went away.
Still, Santa Maria plans to install equipment from another vendor soon. Santa Maria police officials asserted that the cameras "encouraged safer driving habits," though they did not cite specific evidence.
Camera systems have come under repeated attack in the courts for violations of various state laws on evidence, on public notice, and other grounds. In June, Maine banned camera enforcement outright, the latest of a total of five states to oust them.
But camera proponents continue to insist that cameras are there solely for safety reasons. Until, of course, they're not there.