The cities of Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina are pushing for speed camera programs. The state’s General Assembly passed legislation allowing cities to use these devices to reduce speeding and increase safety. Cities must contribute 90% of the fines to local school systems. Some cities have already implemented speed camera programs. However, the state is still in the early stages of implementing these cameras. In the meantime, Charlotte has pilot programs for red light and speed cameras.
The city of Raleigh has defended the red light camera program by citing the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to justify their program. The IIHS studied Raleigh specifically and found that the presence of red light cameras in the city increased the number of fatalities by more than one-eighth. In Wilmington, the problem is the same. People are required to write down their reason for feeling innocent.
Speed is a leading cause of vehicle accidents, and speed cameras can prevent many of them. While they may seem like a burden, they actually help reduce accidents. Researchers from N.C. State found that speed cameras in Charlotte reduced the number of crashes compared to other cities, even after the cameras were removed. However, it is important to remember that these cameras do not replace actual officers. The government is taking the necessary steps to address the problem. It has recently issued guidelines on automated traffic enforcement as part of the bipartisan infrastructure law.
One of the biggest issues surrounding North Carolina speed cameras is the fact that they cost a city a significant amount of money. Even if a camera program isn’t profitable, the city still spends more money on its services than it makes in administration fees. In addition to the cost of the program, the city has decided to focus on re-designing dangerous roads instead of speeding enforcement. While it may be tempting to pay up, you should avoid the hassle of being fined.
Another option is to appeal the ticket you receive. If you find your ticket to be unjustified or unfair, you can ask for an independent hearing officer. This process is coordinated through the SafeLight Program. You must appeal your ticket within 30 days of receiving it. If you don’t agree with the ticket, you can transfer the responsibility to another driver. Alternatively, you can call the SafeLight program’s customer service line to appeal your ticket or get general assistance. They are open eight a.m. to five p.m. on Monday through Friday, except on City-observed holidays.
Fayetteville has also re-established their red light camera program after introducing Section 3 in the state bill. However, the city’s camera program may be subject to the same legal challenges as Fayetteville’s. The state constitution prohibits kickbacks to schools but does not ban them altogether. Although kickbacks are unenforceable, they are still negotiated bribes and allow parties to collude against higher law.