Chief of Police of Hayward is recommending a phase-out of photo enforcement. The proposal will be presented to the Hayward City Council at 7:00 pm Tuesday March 5th. This is only partial good news for camera opponents, however. The proposal put forth to the Hayward Council can be viewed at: http://www.ci.hayward.ca.us/CITY-GOVERNMENT/CITY-COUNCIL-MEETINGS/2013/CCA13PDF/cca030513full.pdf (starting on page 28)
The recommendation by the Chief of Police is for Option ONE. It should be OPTION 2: which says to Cancel the camera contracts right now! Option ONE lets some cameras continue to flash and issue tickets for almost 2 more years.
Let the Council know to select OPTION 2. Call or write to the City Council immediately: City Hall phone: 510-583-4000 To email City Council, ask your letter be distributed to Council. Include the City Manager and the Chief of Police, if you like. firstname.lastname@example.org Note: if you plan to attend, best to call in advance. Even greater allegations of bribery and corruption by Redflex in Chicago and even more resignations by top personnel may mean a postponement of the hearing. Why continue doing business with Redflex?
Here is what is going on:
The Chief admits that Hayward entered into photo enforcement with good intentions, i.e. to improve safety, but the results are just not there. In Hayward, as well as in other jurisdictions, there is marginal evidence as to effectiveness on reducing even T-bone accidents. Rear end accidents sometimes increase.
Massive enforcement does not result in long term reductions in violations, either. She even acknowledges that extending yellow lights might have a positive effect on safety but the report recommends the most modest lengthenings. Good, but not good enough.
If OPTION ONE is chosen and photo enforcement continues for nearly 2 years, there will still be more than 18,000 tickets issued in the next two years with price tags including fines, fees, and assessments of over $9,000,000 !! Visitors to Hayward, residents of Hayward, people wanting to do business in Hayward, or shop in Hayward will be receiving tickets in the mail. Why?
Not for any compelling safety reason. We know this based on what the Chief of Police said in her report.
Urban even says a common complaint of motorists is the hefty fine for the "right-on red" violation. She even acknowledges very few accidents accrue from this illegal behavior. She also says 58% of Hayward's tickets are issued to right-turners. According to OPTION ONE that percentage will shoot up to 68% because some of the low-earning cameras will go dark leaving the more high-earning ones. High earning cameras issue massive numbers of right-on-red tickets.
Once again, recommending a continuation of the cameras, even for two years, is more about money than safety. Table 7 in her report says that if Hayward would cancel all cameras soon, they may have to lay out $108,000 to Redflex. This really is peanuts and not a good reason to continue issuing massive numbers of tickets which may not have a safety benefit. What she does not acknowledge is that if the cameras were shut down immediately there will still be 3,000 - 5,000 recent tickets in the pipeline. Tickets which will be paid and none of that money needs to be paid to Reflex in camera rental fees. Hundreds of thousands of dollars will still roll in; more than enough to pay the early termination fee to Redflex.