Unreliable Speed Cameras Line Government Pockets

The new Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg National Roadway Safety Strategy – NRSSSpeed cameras are being promoted nationwide in order to improve road safety. Research shows speed cameras can be prone to errors and end up being a way to collect government revenue.

New safety measures are being called for by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The reason was the rising number of fatal car crashes with 18.4 percent increase between 2020 and 2021 according to DOT statistics. TThe DOT hopes to be more involved in centralizing highway safety. This strategy includes one policy that promotes speed cameras. 

NRSS argues the introduction of speed cameras is a “problematic” move.Safety countermeasures that have been proven to work.” Federal Highway Administration points to research by Virginia Department of Transportation showing speed cameras have been shown to reduce crashes in cars after their implementation.

The cameras are not always accurate in ticketing right-offenders. This can be a problem for drivers—but a windfall for enforcers.

The camera program in Chicago gave away $2.4 million worth of fines between 2013 and 2015. The analysis used a random sample. Chicago TribuneIt was thought that there were around 110,000. These erroneous fines were inflicted on people who drove too fast or when they should not have. The cameras near schools or parks must be turned off within a specified time period. These are the Chicago TribuneOver half of the cameras used were giving speeding tickets that weren’t correct.

This accuracy issue with speed cameras is not only limited to Chicago. Washington, D.C. – A report by the D.C. Office of Inspector General in 2014 found that ticket writers were unable to identify which speeding vehicle they captured. In certain instances, the report said that the final determination of which vehicle was violating the speed limit depends on the judgment of each individual and is therefore not precise. The inspector general’s staff was told by one speed camera examiner that they typically ticket “the closest one.”

According to the D.C. Office of the Inspector General, the program’s discontinuance was suggested, however, the cameras can still be used.

It is not surprising that speed camera misuse has become an enormous source of income for local governments. ChicagoThe city could make about $15 million a year by installing 300 speed cameras. 

Chica was born March 1.Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of New York, lowered speed limits for speed cameras that could trigger a citation. Cameras are now activated when drivers exceed the limit by six miles per hour rather than the previously set threshold of 10 miles per annum.

The Chicago TribuneIn the two most recent months of Lightfoot’s speed limit rule change, $11.3 million was collected in city fines. In those two months, 327 447 tickets were issued. The city issued only 19,480 speeding tickets in those two months, an increase of almost 17 percent compared to 2019. 

Buttigieg’s policy to improve roads is not a good idea. Speed cameras can generate large sums for the local government. Concerning the “spike” that is allegedly responsible for fatal car accidents, There are reasonsJacob Sullum of’s explained that it is not clear if we will see an upward trend in 2021 (as media claims) and that policy proposals need to be assessed on their merits.