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Red-Light Cameras Reducing Accidents While Revenue Shrinks

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The city of Austin has cut the number of car crashes at ten of its most dangerous intersections in half. But how?

Red-light cameras that electronically photograph cars running red lights have been set up all over Austin. Over the past three years, these cameras have provided means to give almost 35,000 citations to those dangerous drivers.

The initiative has pulled in some $2 million in fines over the past four years, according to the Austin American-Statesman. However, Austin is missing out on over $815,000 because nearly a quarter of violators haven’t paid their fines. The program has earned the city about $138,000 in revenue since 2008, but itlost $44,000 last year.

“The goal has always been to make these intersections that were deemed the most dangerous safer,” explained the Communication of Public Information’s Reyne Telles. “We pay a flat fee per month to our vendors, no matter how many tickets are issued. That is cost we are willing to pay in order to make those intersections more safe.”

APD plans to add two or three new cameras within the next six months. 

Robb Jacobson is a news intern at KUT and a recent graduate of Indiana University.
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