Bob Dole, our resident hater of speed cameras, writes "A bit of UK news sheds light on the motivation behind backers of red light and speed camera enforcement. It describes how those who get one of those tickets will pay an extra $332 in insurance premiums. A second costs $870 and a third means an extra $2,405, paid every year. Now, it's obvious why cities like cameras -- they bring in millions of dollars with no effort -- but until now it has been hard to question the motivation of "safety advocates" like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the leading U.S. proponent of the technology. You know IIHS: they're the crash test dummy people who ensure our cars become safer. Today's London Evening Standard, however, describes a report that calculated the amount of annual profit UK insurance companies will enjoy from these premium hikes: $680 million dollars. There are no comparable U.S. figures, but as California and Arizona both assess points on licenses for camera tickets, you can assume a similar windfall that, in turn, directly benefits the Insurance Institute. This helps explain why evidence of the ineffectiveness of cameras such as the recent UK study and other proof is often ignored in favor of additional cameras installations. This is a multi-billion dollar (and pound) operation." I don't find this all that shocking. Most people know that speeding tickets are seen more as a source of revenue than as a real effort to improve safety, and as such, it's not too difficult to follow the money trail.
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