Do Red-Light Cameras Save Broward Money? | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

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Do Red-Light Cameras Save Broward Money?

See also "Six Ways to Avoid Red Light Cameras" and "Red Light Cameras May Increase Fatalities"

A single-red light camera in Davie could save the city $177,000 the first year and more than $800,000 over five years. In Coral Springs, the numbers are more dramatic: $220,000 in savings after a year and nearly a million bucks after five years.

But take those figures with a grain of salt, as they're being peddled by American Traffic Soultions, the manufacturer of the all-seeing, ticket-spewing Cyclops that we have grown to hate.

The company recently unveiled a website that estimates potential savings cities can glean from red-light cameras. It's based on a study commissioned by American Traffic Solutions and carried out by John Dunham and Associates, a New York-based economics research firm.

The firm casts a wide net to max out those estimates. For instance, the study cites loss of personal productivity and travel delays as some of the associated costs that come along with accidents, which it suggests red-light cameras may help prevent.

But do red-light cameras help prevent accidents? That's up for debate. As we previously reported, a group of University of South Florida researchers say no, they don't. In fact, the professors argued that red-light cameras might lead to a slight uptick in traffic accidents.

Not accounted for, though, are the hours of courtroom challenges, both to tickets doled out by the cameras and to the wider constitutional issues they pose.

The study also doesn't seem to take into account the many town hall debates that have been hosted around the country to assess red-light camera programs.

Red-light cameras are easy to complain about. But if these cost-saving estimates are accurate, would that make them more acceptable?