OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http: //www. cga. ct. gov/ofa

sSB-706

AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL AUTOMATED TRAFFIC CONTROL SAFETY DEVICES AT CERTAIN INTERSECTIONS.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 12 $

FY 13 $

Department of Motor Vehicles

TF - None

See Below

See Below

Social Services, Dept.

GF - Potential Revenue Gain

See Below

See Below

Department of Transportation

TF - Potential Revenue Gain

See Below

See Below

Note: TF=Transportation Fund; GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 12 $

FY 13 $

Various Municipalities

Potential Revenue Gain/Cost

See Below

See Below

Explanation

The bill authorizes any municipality having a population greater than 60,000 (thirteen as of 2010 census1) to implement an automated traffic enforcement safety device (aka “red-light camera”) program.

The bill sets forth duties that must be met by a municipality choosing to institute a red-light camera program; establishes fines and authorizes the assessment of other fees; directs fine revenues to municipal and state budgets; establishes a mandatory hearings process; and prohibits motor vehicle registration renewal in certain instances. Associated fiscal impacts are as follows:

Municipal Costs/Savings

Costs incurred by a municipality choosing to institute a red-light camera program would include:

$75-$125 per advance warning sign, to be installed on all approaches preceding an intersection with a camera;

$50,000-$75,000 per camera per year for installation/ maintenance, including sensors;

$30,000-$40,000 per camera per year for (a) a police officer or contracted vendor to review and approve recorded images; (b) staff time to issue violation notices, monitor fine collection, provide data on a regular basis to the Department of Motor Vehicles, conduct hearings, and compile an annual report; and (c) other expenses, such as for postage and supplies.

Additional local costs may be incurred for legal services, should challenges be brought within thirty days of passage of an ordinance establishing a red-light camera system.

Minimal law enforcement savings may be experienced, because use of a red-light camera system may preclude some time now devoted by police officers to issuing citations. A 2006 study2 quantified the averted law enforcement costs at $1,859 per intersection. Savings would only be experienced to the extent that the work hours saved are not redeployed to other police functions, and may be further mitigated to the extent that the bill may require police officers to appear at additional hearings.

Municipal Revenues

A revenue gain to participating communities would result, as the bill establishes a civil penalty of at least $1243. Actual revenues would depend upon the number of violation notices issued and the collection rate. Note: Please see section entitled “State Revenue Impact” below for a description of the purposes to which these revenues must be applied.

Once the initial use phase is over, the number of daily violations per camera has been identified in various publications as between 10 to 40. Assuming collection percentages of 70, 80 or 90%4, potential annual revenue generated from 10, 20, 30 and 40 violations per day would be as shown below.

 

Annual Revenue per Camera @ $124/violation

Payment Rate:

70%

80%

90%

Daily Violations Per Camera

     

10

$ 316,820

$ 362,080

$ 407,340

20

$ 633,640

$ 724,160

$ 814,680

30

$ 950,460

$ 1,086,240

$ 1,222,020

40

$ 1,267,280

$ 1,448,320

$ 1,629,360

Additional local revenues may be generated to the extent that a municipality elects to utilize the discretionary authority provided in the bill to impose fees associated with electronic fine payment.

State Revenue Impact

Enactment may result in a revenue loss to the state as some of the violations that would be enforced via the red-light camera system would displace citations currently issued by law enforcement officers.

Fines associated with violations of CGS Sec. 14-299 (failure to obey control signal) average $124 per violation. Payments are deposited to the General Fund as unrestricted revenues5. An additional $10 surcharge per violation is collected and remitted to the municipality in which the violation occurred.

The bill specifies that the municipality may instead apply fine revenues to defray the costs of installation, operation and maintenance of the camera system. Any collections exceeding these costs would be divided as follows: 70% would be retained by the municipality; the remaining 30% would be equally split between the Special Transportation Fund and the Department of Social Services (for traumatic brain injury services).

The potential General Fund revenue loss associated with the bill would depend upon the number of devices installed. A loss in excess of $100,000 would be expected if a large scale program is implemented.

Department of Motor Vehicles

There is no fiscal impact anticipated to the Special Transportation Fund since the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) currently does not charge any fees on registration renewal with proof of settlement of municipal fines and delinquent property taxes. Proof of settlement is indicated by a stamp on the DMV registration form issued by the town clerk.

Every two years, within 60 days of the expiration date of registration, DMV mails out a renewal notice to motor vehicle owners. Included in the notice are any compliance issues that must be resolved such as delinquent property taxes, emissions test, insurance coverage, and unpaid parking tickets otherwise DMV will not process the registration renewal. Late registration renewals are subject to a $10 fee.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation and trends in traffic violations.

Sources:

U. S. Census Bureau (2010).

FY 10 Disposition by Statute and Statewide Imposed Revenues by Statute, Connecticut Judicial Department.

Transportation Research Board, “Traffic-Control Devices for Passive Railroad-Highway Grade Crossings,” ( 2002).

“South City Red-Light Cameras May Get Ax,” San Francisco Examiner, 3/20/10.

“An Analysis of a Red-Light Camera Program in the City of Milwaukee,” University of Wisconsin-Madison's Workshop in Public Affairs (2006).

“Red Light Cameras,” www. siliconimaging. com, (date unknown).

“Losses mount for Escondido's red-light camera program,” The North County Times, 4/1/11.

“Red Light Cameras Results at W. Tennessee Street/Capital Circle NW Intersection,” WCTV Eyewitness News, 3/14/11.

“Cost of Red-Light Cameras,” Orlando Sentinel ePaper, 2/26/11.

“Automated Red Light Enforcement” (Powerpoint), City of Casselberry, Florida, 1/24/11.

1 Bridgeport, Bristol, Danbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury, and West Hartford.

2 University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Public Affairs.

3 The bill states that the civil penalty is to be the greater of $124 or “the maximum penalty permitted for a violation of an ordinance adopted under this act. ” The meaning of the latter reference is unclear.

4 In FY 10, 30. 56% of disposed offenses under CGS Sec. 14-299 were contested and subsequently nolled/dismissed/found not guilty. About 26% of red-light camera tickets issued in Broward County, FL have been challenged, with an unknown percentage having the ticket subsequently nullified. While in Casselberry, FL, only 18 of 1,038 infractions were contested in the first year of operation.

5 In FY 10, a total of $1,120,063 was collected from fines due to violations of CGS Sec. 14-299. An estimated $350,000 was attributable to the thirteen cities with populations over 60,000, based on their aggregate share of the number of statewide motor vehicle violations in the same year.