|These cameras cost the municipality $4,750.00 per month.|
They are bilking us for way more.
Yes, with the expansion, eventually the most crash-prone thoroughfares will be covered but the emphasis on location is where the most innocuous right-on-red turns are made. This is their cash-cow. Not dangerous intersections but those where people feel safe enough to do a slow roll right-on-red turn. This is obvious by the remark they make that "[e]xact locations for the new cameras haven't yet been chosen yet, but Mayor Teresa Jacobs released a lineup of likely locations this week." What do you mean Orlando Sentinel? These intersections should be easily located by looking up the crash statistics of Orange County, right? Why do we have to wait to find out? Ah, yes, because it is not that clear, is it.
If safety was the goal the hope would be that people would stop running the red lights. However, it is nice to know that "[t]he county has collected nearly $2.3 million so far after issuing more than 20,000 tickets since the program began in early 2011." Obviously, if people stopped doing this these funds would dry up. All those horrible intentional red-light runners will not stop though. It's not because we have a bunch of drivers that don't care. Instead we have a lot of drivers making right-on-red turns in complete safety, we have people whose front tires just barely fail to cross the white stop bar (painted line on roadway) before the light turns red, and we have a few that just blow through the light. All are hit up for the $158 initial fine.
Now if it was all about safety (and not money) why is it that people who pay the initial $158 fine do not receive points or even a mark on their driving records? A person could run hundreds of red lights and just pay the initial fine and never have their license suspended. How is that "about safety?"
A much easier way to look at it and more logical way considering our corrupt greedy politicians whose tax base has dramatically fallen due to this DC-politician generated recession is to due some basic math. If they increase the number of red light cameras by a factor of 5 then they envision their year and a half income rising up to $11.5 million. None of these idiots consider the fact that it is also $11.5 million taken out of the local economy. Instead they cheer it up as a victory in the name of "safety."
On top of all of this, the County full well knows the only way to prove these cases is to circumvent the rules of evidence with the lay public. So far they are pretty much batting .000 against attorneys that fight these tickets because of glaring holes in their evidentiary presentation. Apparently, this fact does not concern them. According to the Orlando Sentinel article"Orange County's aggressive expansion follows a noticeably modest start. Though other cities began installing cameras as early as 2008, Orange leaders weren't sure they were legal." Now that they know the "legal" issues, they decide it's time to expand. Think $$$.
This is government at its worst. Teresa Jacobs damn well knows the problems the county (and all other municipalities) is having when up against attorneys. It is only by bush-whacking the unrepresented people they can get their money. This total lack of justice on the part of the County is a prime example of why government must be limited and why the concept of "one and done" is catching on with the rest of us drivers/voters.
Eric J Dirga represents drivers that have received Red Light Camera Tickets and all other traffic offenses.