Des Moines readies revenue cameras

May 6th, 2011 by Joe Kristan

20110506-1.jpgDes Moines city officials are preparing to implement their new random tax on motorists, reports the Des Moines Register:

Des Moines police have identified five accident- prone intersections where traffic cameras are being installed to crack down on motorists who run red lights.

Of course, it’s not about traffic safety.

However, only three of the intersections selected for the cameras ranked among the 10 most dangerous in the city, records show.

If it were about traffic safety, they would simply extend yellow-light times. It’s about giving more money to the city council to spend. How do we know?

In 2009, the City Council approved an ordinance that allows the cameras. Police and other city officials have stressed the plan is about safety, not money.

When they have to say it’s not about money, it’s about the money.

Police officials have previously estimated each camera could bring in $100,000 a year. Updated revenue estimates have not been finalized, Scott said.

It’s about taking $100 from your pocket if you commit the heinous crime of not quite stopping before turning red at an empty downtown intersection at night or on Sunday. It’s also about lining the pockets of the out-of-state contractor that will run the cameras.
They will also add a speed-camera on I-235. It will sure help get the glut of empty downtown office space rented when the business owners who make lease decisions get their red-light camera and speed-camera tickets in the mail.
UPDATE, 5/10: Jim Maule weighs in on how red-light loot has triggered a Philadelphia fight.
More about red-light cameras here.
Related: How much does the Des Moines City Council hate its voters?
Flickr image courtesy foto footprints under Creative Commons license

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