Red Light Camera Tickets, Revenue Plunges In Plainfield
Something fishy is going on.
Plainfield’s red light camera program is less than three years old.
But that western suburb’s red light cameras seem to be having some sort of effect at the two RLC intersection.
According to the Joliet Herald News, red light camera violations and revenue have been falling since the cameras were first installed in 2010.
The city issued 3,573 violations and brought in $8100 in 2010. 2,953 violations were issued in 2011 and only 1,200 RLC tickets have gone out the first seven months of the year with barely $2000 in revenue realized.
The reduction in red light running at those locations is a positive thing and one can debate whether how much of the decline is due to RLCs or not.
What is perhaps the most interesting revelation from the data, and completely missed by the story’s author is the disconnect between the number of violations and the revenue Plainfield brought in.
If 3,573 tickets were issued in 2010, that should have translated to $357,300 in gross fines based on a standard $100 ticket. Of course, not everyone pays their tickets but often late fees will make up for those who decide not to pay.
But $8000 is just a hair over 2% of the total fines issued.
But what is most likely happening in Plainfield is that the red light camera vendor is taking the lion’s share of the revenue. Unlike Chicago which owns their RLC hardware outright, most towns get their red light cameras for free but then sign a revenue sharing contract which often favors the vendor in a lopsided way when it comes to bottom line revenue.
Either Plainfield is doing a really crappy job collecting on outstanding RLC fines and/or they signed a one-sided contract that is making American Traffic Solutions a lot of money.
Here’s the Joliet Herald News story, “Plainfield sees drop in red-light camera fines.”