Anne Arundel County in Maryland has been running five red light cameras for five years, during which period they raised a fat $2.85 million in ticket revenue. Unfortunately, a comparison of accident statistics shows that the cameras have increased the rate of accidents.

Immediately after installation, the cameras sparked a 40-percent increase in rear-end collisions, and never looked back, with five-year increases in accident rates far exceeding a 10-percent increase in traffic.

Unfortunately, this is hardly an isolated phenomenon. TheNewspaper.com reports similar results in the state of Georgia, where the city of Duluth's one and only camera is forecast to generate a whopping $1 million next year, at the cost of a 21-percent increase in accidents. A study by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed red light cameras were linked to an increase in accidents, injuries and revenues across the state, although there is early indication that the rate of serious accidents in intersections is falling.

Critics charge that cities are at best trading one kind of accident for another, and that the proliferation of traffic cameras is really just a money generator, while advocates maintain that they encourage safer driving.

[Sources: theNewspaper.com, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]