OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

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

sHB-5458

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

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: See Below

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 13 $

FY 14 $

Various Municipalities

Revenue Gain/Cost

See Below

See Below

Explanation

The bill authorizes any municipality having a population greater than 48,000 (there are 19 municipalities as of 2010 census1) to implement an automated traffic enforcement safety device (red-light camera) program.

The bill: (1) sets forth duties that must be met by a municipality choosing to institute a red-light camera program; (2) establishes fines and authorizes the assessment of other fees; (3) directs fine revenues to municipal budgets; and (4) establishes a mandatory hearings process. Associated fiscal impacts are as follows:

Municipal Costs/Savings

Municipalities that establish a red-light camera program would incur the following costs:

$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, conduct hearings, and compile an annual report; and (c) other expenses, such as for postage and supplies;

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

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.

Municipal Revenues

A revenue gain to participating municipalities would result, as the bill establishes a civil penalty of up to $50. Actual revenues would depend upon the number of violation notices issued and the collection rate.

The ability to achieve a net revenue gain has had mixed results. Some large locations, such as Los Angeles and Houston discontinued their red light camera programs due to fine collection issues. Other locations, such as Philadelphia and Nassau County, are experiencing revenue gains.

Assuming a 100% collection rate, the potential annual revenue generated from 10, 20, 30 and 40 violations per camera per day would be $182,500, $365,000, $547,500 and $730,000 respectively. Based on past red-light camera programs, collection rates can be significantly less than 100%. In both Broward and Palm Beach counties, Florida as well as Los Angeles the collection rate on the initial ticket is approximately 60%.

The following table is for illustrative purposes showing potential annual revenue generated from 10, 20, 30 and 40 violations per camera per day with collection rates at 50%, 60%, and 70%.

 

Annual Revenue per Camera @ $50/violation

Collection Rate:

50%

60%

70%

Daily Violations Per Camera

     

10

$ 91,250

$ 109,500

$ 127,750

20

$ 182,500

$ 219,000

$ 255,500

30

$ 273,750

$ 328,500

$ 383,250

40

$ 365,000

$ 438,000

$ 511,000

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 up to $15 associated with electronic fine payment.

State Revenue Impact

Enactment may result in a revenue loss to the state as 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 revenues2. 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.

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.

The Out Years

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

Sources:

"5,000 Broward and Palm Beach Country Red-Light Ticket Recipients Don't Have to Pay," Sun-Sentinel, 2/10/12.

 

"A Long Island Lesson In Red-Light Cameras: Is Connecticut Next?" The Hartford Courant 2/18/12.

 

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

 

"Houston City Council Votes to Shut Off Red-Light Cameras" New York Times 8/26/11.

 

"LAPD Won't Pursue Red-Light Camera Tickets in Court" Los Angeles Times 3/29/12.

 

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

 

"Who knew L. A. 's red-light camera fines were 'voluntary'?" Los Angeles Times 7/27/11

 

U. S. Census Bureau (2010).

1 Bridgeport, Bristol, Danbury, East Hartford, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, Waterbury, West Hartford, and West Haven.

2 In FY 11, a total of $1,624,862 was collected from fines due to violations of CGS Sec. 14-299.