Drivers in Frederick must be slow learners. After nearly two years of red-light cameras training their punitive eyes on drivers throughout the city, more people are running red lights.
In March 2006, the Frederick Police Department issued 452 citations at five intersections. At those same intersections one year later, 491 citations went out in the mail. All totaled, over 12,000 citations have gone out to red-light runners since the program's inception in May 2005, and the numbers keep growing.
Wasn't this program purported to make us obey the law for fear of getting a $75 fine? Didn't other jurisdictions with cameras report fewer violations over time, effectively changing driver behavior? That is what red-light camera vendor Nestor Traffic Systems -- which gets $28 of that $75 -- told city officials back in 2004.
Based on that sales pitch, Frederick drivers are either fearless or stupid, or both. More probable is that statistics on the effectiveness of red-light cameras have been exaggerated or misconstrued.