Schwarzenegger Targets $397.5M from Speed Cameras

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is seeking resources to cover up the gap of $19.9 billion in the budget. He therefore thought of a solution which will likely not be received so well by local motorists. Schwarzenegger called for the deployment of a massive speed camera program to generate at least $397.5 million in net profit to state and local government.

Under the proposal, existing red light cameras at intersections would be converted into "speed on green" cameras that issue citations to motorists who try to speed up at an intersection to make the light. Those who slow down but fail to make the light will be mailed a red light camera ticket.

"Various federal rules are tying our hands and preventing us from reducing costs in some state programs," Schwarzenegger explained at a news conference the past weekend. "I want to remind the federal judges and the politicians California is not Washington. We do not have the luxury of printing money or running trillion-dollar deficits."

The existing network of over a thousand municipal automated ticketing machines is expected to print over two million citations each year. The corresponding revenue that would be split 85 percent for the state -- an estimated $337.9 million in the first year -- and 15 percent to municipalities -- $59.6 million.

These figures do not include the millions that the well-connected private companies that operate the photo ticketing programs will collect.

As motorists learned that they could safely ignore tickets, they stopped paying in large numbers because the programs were as unpopular with the public as they were with the courts.
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