Cameras have been affixed to traffic lights throughout NY for quite some time now. Most people are even aware that they record video in addition to snapping photographs. However, what was not known until relatively recently was just how much revenue has been taken in due to these cameras.
Due to their ubiquity, more and more people are being mailed citations for running red lights or making right-on-red turns when a sign indicated it was illegal to do so. Although many New York police officers claim that these traffic cameras are making the roads safer, drivers all across New York are wondering how true this really can be. After all, many drivers are not usually aware of where these cameras are and they do not feel like they are being monitored or watched. Consequently, they act just as recklessly as they normally would.
Interestingly, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 20 states now allow red-light cameras on the road. This has some people wondering whether traffic cameras are simply cash cows for the government rather than helpful deterrents of traffic violations.
A recent study was conducted in Chicago, regarding the revenue that could be raised by installing traffic cameras. Traffic cameras were placed in three main intersections over a 12-hour time period. In that short time frame, the cameras detected 206 red-light and right-turn violations. Based on that figure, experts projected that roughly 80,000-100,000 violations would occur per year. At $100 per ticket, presuming everyone paid the fine, this would generate between $8 million and $10 million in revenue per year!
Other studies were more conservative in their long-term prognostication and concluded that $3 million would likely be raised per year. Most importantly, many believe that this figure is also indicative of how much revenue New York State has raked in.
While some reports indicate that even more revenue has been raised in NY than what was found in Illinois, the one thing we now know for sure is that concrete evidence now exists proving that traffic cameras are generating a slew of revenue.