We reported Friday that the commissioners were prepared to approve red light cameras for Lakeland. They did so Monday. They left it up to City staff to negotiate with the RLC company, American Traffic Solutions, to find a start date for the cameras. It will depend how long it takes to install and calibrate the cameras and train Lakeland Police officers to use the citation verification software. Expect the signs to start appearing in early January.
After more than 18 months of dealing with these cameras they will soon be a reality. I’ve prepared a Red Light Camera FAQ to answer questions about the cameras, the costs, the revenues, and more.
You might be interested in this one FAQ question:
How much does the City get from each violation? It’s been reported “The contract calls for ATS to get all the money for the first paid citation for each camera each day. The company will take $25 from each citation for the second and third paid violation, per camera per day. ATS will get $10 for the fourth and all subsequent paid tickets on a per-camera, per-day basis, with the city collecting the rest.” (Ledger)
You might get the idea that if a camera records no red light violations on a given day than ATS gets nothing for that camera that day. However, the Service Fee Schedule of the contract states “Fee structure for program is averaged across all operational cameras.” That means the number of cameras installed helps decide how much goes to ATS and how much to the city. The city has negotiated a three tier pricing structure:
$125 -1st Tier Fee (First paid notice per day per camera)
$ 25 -2nd Tier Fee (Next 2 paid notices per day per camera)
$ 10 -3rd Tier Fee (Additional paid notices per day per camera)
Those prices are averaged over a month. The schedule gives an example that cameras are averaged over a 30 day month. Let’s say the city installs 10 cameras. It doesn’t matter where the red light running violations occur. They could be spread evenly or all violations could occur at a single camera. The contract lumps all the paid citations together in one pool and figures an average per camera per day.
With 10 cameras installed the first 300 (10 cameras * 30 days) paid citations of the month are paid at 1st Tier Fees. The next 600 (10 cameras * 30 days * 2) are paid at 2nd Tier Fee and the rest are paid at 3rd Tier Fee.
So, with 10 cameras installed and 1000 paid citations in our example month, ATS gets
(30 * 10 * $125) +
(30 * 20 * $25) +
(100 * $10) +
$37,500 + $15,000 + $1000 = $53,500 for the example month for ATS. Assuming all the paid citations are first or second time violations the city would get $71,500 for those 1000 violations.
The schedule works out that to make any revenue the city needs the average paid citations per day to be greater than the number of cameras installed.
For those who like formulas: Each 30-day month ATS gets (Cameras*$3750) before the city stars collecting revenue.
Get the rest of the FAQ.