Monday, March 21, 2011

Is San Leandro's Brigade Of Traffic Cameras Doing The Job?

By Steven Tavares

San Leandro will reduce the number
of traffic cameras to five.
Has San Leandro begun to slowly eradicate red light violators or is the the cost of maintaining the small army of cameras lurking above its intersections rising too high?

There are currently six red light camera systems installed on city streets, but the number will likely fall by one after the City Council approves renewal of  its contract with RedFlex Traffic Systems. The new deal will run until the end of 2018.

Why the city chose to reduce the number of above-ground cameras depends on how you read the situation. San Leandro’s previous five-year lease cost the city a monthly charge of $5,800 to maintain six cameras. The proposed deal lowers the bill to $5,200 for just five—eliminating the approach at Lewelling Boulevard and Washington Avenue. Did the cameras at the particular intersection significantly lower cars speeding through red lights or did the area fail to produce enough ticket revenue?

A memo from San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli said the program “drastically reduced the number of violations since the deployment of the camera and the lack of fines generated to cover the monthly leasing cost.”

The five other “eyes in the sky” are located at the intersections of Halcyon/Floresta and Washington; East 14th Street and Fairmont Avenue; East 14th and Davis Street and Marina Boulevard and Teagarden. The last being one of the most lucrative producers of red light traffic tickets in the Bay Area.


My only fear is that local governments may start increasing penalty fees in order to pay for the overhead of these surveillance camera systems. That would be severe injustice.

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