Thursday, November 17, 2011

The High Costs of RoboCop

This online article exposes the predicament some 700 municipalities have gotten themselves in by contracting with red-light camera companies. Hoping cameras will make statistically unsafe intersections safer by discouraging motorists from taking the chance with a yellow-light. Traffic camera companies promise new revenue and safer streets.
Municipalities are finding these traffic control devices are having the opposite effect—violations and traffic related fatalities increased. Cities wanting to remove the cameras are in a bind. While replacing public employees (human police officers) with "RoboCops" was as easy as a pen stroke, firing Robocop is complicated.
Getting out of the contract is costly, for example, it will cost the City of Houston $25,000,000 to terminate its contract with American Traffic Solutions. Red-light camera contracts have forced cities to choose between public safety and paying contract termination fees.

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