Should we take at face value the comments by Glendale Police Capt. Carl Povilaitis indicating that the red-light camera program was not cost-effective (“Police shut down red-light camera program,” March 14)?
If the reasoning behind installing the cameras was to improve traffic safety and the article mentions that citations dropped by half due to motorists being more mindful of traffic safety, then the logical conclusion is that a successful program should remain. So what gives?
Was the program primarily a revenue-generating gimmick? City officials said that costs for the program were being paid for by the money generated by the tickets. Now that the program is only breaking even, it is not worth maintaining.
So what drives traffic policy? Safety or profit?
The answer probably lies elsewhere. My guess is that Glendale experienced safety problems like other cities have reported: increases in rear-end collisions as drivers slam on the brakes when they see a yellow light turning red.
Or maybe the legal challenges of questionable tickets simply cost the city too much. Maybe the realization that the program should not have been implemented in the first place finally took hold four years later.
To my thinking, this is just another bad outcome of a vendor peddling an expensive and ineffective program to council members and the city spokesmen covering the tracks of another bad decision.