Every morning thousands of parents here in New York and across the country drop their children off at the local school bus stop, trusting that the bus driver will transport their precious cargo to school safely. While this is exactly what happens the overwhelming majority of the time, there are unfortunate exceptions.
It often seems like everyone has their own story of watching a police officer blow through a stop light even though there is no apparent emergency. In fact, this traffic violation often goes unpunished, with officers able to dismiss tickets issued by red light cameras that catch them red-handed. But at least one major American city is seeking to put an end to this practice. City police officers in Denver will now be forced to follow the same traffic laws as ordinary citizens, even when it comes to running a red light. Specifically, police officers will be forced to either challenge the traffic violation or pay the fine. The new rule replaces a prior policy that essentially exempted officers from paying traffic violations. Here, they would receive an oral reprimand after the third offense, followed by a written reprimand on the fourth offense.
In these tough economic times, several major U.S. cities have found a new cash cow: Red light cameras that are bringing in big bucks every time they film a traffic violation.In fact, our very own New York City has found that red light cameras are a big source of extra income. How big? Last year, the city nabbed more than $52 million in fines, according to a recent story in the New York Daily News.The cameras, mounted at busy intersections, routinely film motorists as they are running red lights. In fact, there are now 150 red light cameras in our fair city.
In vehicle traffic law news, the list of over 500 U.S. cities that utilize some form of red light camera program got the slightest bit shorter this past week when the city of Los Angles officially declared that it was hitting the "off" button.