It seems like those annoying red-light cameras are the talk of the town these days around Capitol Square:
If you’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to experience one of these tickets, you know how incredibly awful these things can be to drivers. After my second citation for making a legal right turn on red, I’ve stopped turning at that intersection altogether, much to the dismay and frustration to the drivers behind me.
But, while I may be on one side of this argument, a thoughtful debate can be had regarding their legitimacy. That debate, however, should not include illegal activities by the camerca operators:
Chicago’s embattled red light camera firm went to City Hall on Friday in its latest effort to come clean, acknowledging for the first time that its entire program here was likely built on a $2 million bribery scheme.
By its sheer size, the alleged plot would rank among the largest in the annals of Chicago corruption.
An internal probe of Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. and a parallel investigation by the city’s inspector general — prompted by reports in the Chicago Tribune — have cost the company its largest North American contract and all of its top executives.
The company in question—Redflex—has now lost at least two top executives due to the scandal, and yet, this hasn’t made the big national headlines, despite Redflex having contracts in over 250 cities, including both Dayton AND Columbus, Ohio.
A quick call to the Columbus Police Department confirmed that the city still maintains Redflex as it’s contracted servicer, though calls to Dayton yielded little results. Regardless, Redflex is mentioned in numerous places on both city websites, including a Dayton finance committee presentation from less than a year ago, and the technology pages for Columbus’ photo enforcement program.
It doesn’t take a lawyer to figure out it’s probably not the greatest idea to keep doing business with a company currently under investigation… in Chicago. Do you know how hard it is to get investigated in a city that allows dead people to vote? With a city like Chicago investigating the practices of Redflex, one has to wonder if Columbus and Dayton shouldn’t do the same. At the very least, it is certainly questionable.
With news like this, maybe it’s a good thing for the state legislature to consider a red-light camera ban. If city officials alone can’t make responsible decisions with taxpayer dollars, it might be time for the state to do it for them.