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A new research report outlines problems with the growing trend among cities to outsource traffic enforcement to red-light and speed camera vendors.

“Too many cities wrongly sign away power to ensure the safety of citizens on the roads when they privatize traffic law enforcement. Automated traffic ticketing tends to be governed by contracts that focus more on profits than safety.” said Phineas Baxandall Ph.D., the Senior Analyst for Tax and Budget Policy at the Public Interest Research Group and a co-author of the report.

“That shouldn’t happen,” Baxandall added.

The report finds that approximately half of all states allow the use of automated traffic law enforcement.  Municipalities in these states contract with private companies to operate cameras and issue citations to drivers.

“Some states have a real mess with their red-light camera programs. Other states are now wading into the waters. We’d like to see states that already have camera programs reform them and states considering programs learn from the mistakes of others,” said Ryan Pierannunzi, an associate with U.S. PIRG.

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