This pisses me off so much. Research studies have shown that increasing amber delays is one of the best ways to reduce both fatal and non-fatal collisions at intersections.
These municipalities think that more red light camera revenue = more money = great and glorious government. They forget two things:
- Fines, cost of repairs, and insurance premiums eat away at their citizens' bank accounts. Less money = less spending = less sales taxes, and a lot of angry, pissed off citizens.
- It's not a zero-sum game within the closed system of citizens and the government. The vendors get a lot of those fines.
So the net result is a slower economy, tax revenue is not nearly as high as expected, and vendors line their pockets.
(I recently worked for years in the highway safety sector, and one of my colleagues, a former cop, did a research paper on this subject. He started the research with a high opinion of red light cameras, but found that red light cameras had no significant effect on fatalities while significantly increasing non-fatal collisions.)