Kansas City, Missouri Seeks Cameras to Fill Budget Gap
Revenue raising, not safety, is behind Kansas City, Missouri's investigation of photo enforcement technology.

Kay BarnesKansas City, Missouri Mayor Kay Barnes was clear in her budget submission last Thursday that speed cameras are a great way to "raise revenue" when facing a "challenging economic climate." Noting that several Missouri cities such as Arnold have recently turned to photo ticketing, the Fiscal Year 2006-07 budget does not, as some cities have done, make any claim that the devices provide a safety benefit.

"In the last five years the City has faced a challenging economic climate with stagnant revenues which resulted in our having to make budget reductions of more than a quarter billion dollars," Barnes wrote in her budget transmittal letter. "I also want to recognize the Managerís creativity and commitment to our citizenry which are represented in the 2006-2007 budget."

One of City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen's key creative ideas in the FY06-07 budget is to use photo enforcement to fill the budget gap.

"It should be noted that several Missouri cities have begun implementing photo-radar in their communities as a way to use technology to better enforce existing traffic laws," Cauthen writes in the city manager's budget. "The implementation of photo-radar would also have positive benefits from additional revenues generated by traffic fines. Should the City Council consider this program, it could be a way for the City to increase revenues to accelerate the hiring of additional police officers."

State Attorney General Jay Nixon has warned that under existing law, the photo radar and red light camera systems are illegal.

The full budget document is available at the source link below in a 487k PDF file.

Source: Fiscal Year 2006-07 Budget (Kansas City, Missouri, 2/9/2006)