Red-Light Traffic Cameras Are In (Hooray) Trouble
In times of great crisis, we rely on certain standards that have been built over time to hold up and maintain order. It's what separates us from being a bunch of dumb animals flinging crap at each other in the wild to being a bunch of dumb animals flinging crap at each other online. Some of those rules are very simple and get taken for granted, such as everyone stopping at red lights. Plenty of people don't stop, and some companies have made far too much money off of trying to convince police departments and local governments that their bogus ticketing camera set-ups can make the roads safer. They truly don't, and all it took was America's traffic screeching to a halt for some lovely schadenfreude to happen.
Red light cameras have slowly been on the downswing for a few years now, but the year 2020 has just taken a big swing into the kneecaps of the whole damn industry. With more people staying home under their respective shelter-in-place orders, and practically nobody traveling anywhere, intersections just aren't as busy as they used to be. And less-busy intersections means fewer of those ridiculous citations from trigger-happy cameras (and hopefully, fewer rear-end collisions caused by those cameras).
One of the biggest players in the game, Redflex, just finished up their Q1 reports and found that their volume-based contracts are going to be significantly less voluminous because of the sheer lack of traffic. And while we understand stocks about as well as a monkey with an abacus, it would seem that they're doing bad and getting worse. Redflex is saying they haven't had any contracts terminated yet due to the current global situation, but in a time when economies need money pumped back into them at a historic level, randomly citing citizens for scootching over a line in a big intersection isn't gonna help.
So if you truly absolutely must be out driving right now and see a red light camera, pull up a safe distance away so you don't get ticketed, then give that camera a big smile because that's about all the douchebags that own them are going to be getting right now.
Top Image: Tony Webster/Wiki Commons