One more unwelcome result of the Great Recession is the proliferation of red light cameras. Municipalities throughout the country are using these cameras to raise revenues, although their stated purpose is to improve safety on the roads. Some studies have shown that these cameras are actually increasing both the number and severity of motor vehicle accidents.
For those interested, this site has detailed information on how these cameras actually work.
There are constitutional arguments to be made against these cameras. It remains to be seen how this all plays out in the courts. In the meantime, motorists are well advised to exercise caution when approaching intersections known to be under camera surveillance.
How much are the fines for these tickets? Well, they vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but fifty dollars per ticket seems about average. Don’t forget the surcharges that will also be added to your final bill.
Although these tickets can be expensive, keep in mind that they do not result in points on your driver’s license, nor do they affect your automobile insurance.
There are now companies marketing red light camera detectors. One, called GPS Angel, claims to use satellite technology to determine your vehicle’s location and compares it to a database of known red light camera locations. I know nothing about this company or their products, so I’m not endorsing them in any way. I’ve simply included a link for informational purposes.
Here is a map of the red light cameras currently in use on Long Island, courtesy of Newsday.com