Red Light Revenues

After installing red-light cameras at three major intersections, Linden, N.J. has raised $800,000 in revenues in just three months. An official in the treasurer’s office told The Star Ledger that the windfall is “very exciting.” Other New Jersey municipalities issuing increased red-light camera tickets include Brick Township and Newark.

Are red-light cameras cash cows? Rajiv Shah, professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago says between 70 to 80 percent of revenues come from right turns on red. While cameras may increase revenue they also increase accidents. His analysis of Chicago intersections with red-light cameras  shows a six percent increase in traffic accidents at those intersections. The city raised $63 million in revenues in 2009 from the cameras. For more, check out Rajiv Shah’s blog on video surveillance EyeingChicago.