Red Light Camera Company Says It's Dying Of Coronavirus
from the putting-it-out-of-our-misery dept
Things change. And the stuff that used to work just doesn’t anymore. We’ve covered a lot of this over the years, mainly focusing on how the rise of the internet was greeted with rent-seeking and protectionist policies meant to extend the upper hand that incumbent industries had enjoyed for years.
But things are changing elsewhere, outside of industries reliant on intellectual property protection and Congressionally-approved monopolies. Marijuana is being legalized (or at least decriminalized) all over the nation, resulting in an upheaval of sorts in the drug dog industry. According to a few law enforcement officials, drug dogs can’t live full lives without sniffing drugs and marijuana legalization is probably just going to result in some mercy killings. A life that doesn’t involve being run around a car during an illegally-extended pretextual stop apparently isn’t worth living.
We are again being asked to shed a tear for a law enforcement-adjacent industry. Social distancing and sheltering-in-place in response to the coronavirus has led to a downturn in driving. And if there’s fewer drivers on the road, proxy cops are seeing their revenue streams dry up.
Redflex, an Australian company that operates “traffic safety programs” in roughly 100 US and Canadian cities, warned that less traffic and suspended construction amid the pandemic will be a stress on its balance sheet.
“Approximately 15% of group revenue is dependent on volume-based contracts,” the company said in a regulatory filing Monday first spotted by The Wall Street Journal, hinting at its business line that includes enforcement cameras. “We anticipate our revenue from these contracts will be impacted broadly in line with the reduction in traffic volumes as well as the duration of the disruption.”
Yeah, that’s a real shame. It’s too bad a company that engaged in bribery to grab market share won’t be able to weather this unexpected downturn in questionably-obtained income. There are several competitors in the crowded “worst traffic cam ever” field, but Redflex did everything it could to stay ahead of the pack. This behavior resulted in other unexpected downturns, like refunding millions of dollars of tickets in multiple locations due to the tech’s inability to do the little things… like accurately judge vehicle speed.
Hope springs eternal at Redflex, even with COVID-19’s wet blanket dampening the company’s enthusiasm.
On a call with investors Monday, Redflex CEO Mark Talbot warned that further travel restrictions could delay new installations and therefore impact revenues.
Let’s hope there are no more installations ever, even if drivers return to the roads to undo the environmental damage reduction they inadvertently contributed to by staying home. Redflex is a terrible company with terrible ethics and terrible products. Its tech remains unproven, years after deployment. If the virus manages to take out Redflex, we’ll at least have one thing to thank the pandemic for.