Baltimore Expects $4 Million Drop in Traffic Camera Revenue for Fiscal 2024: Reasons Explained

By FOX45
Posted on 04/08/23 | News Source: FOX45

 The city of Baltimore expects to bring in $4.4 million less in Fiscal Year 2024 than it did in fiscal year 2023 from its speed and red light cameras, according to the proposed budget released earlier this week.

The budget proposal says there are two main reasons for the decline. First, Baltimore only collects fines on about half of the tickets issued by the cameras. Second, it appears drivers are just getting used to the cameras; the budget document notes the "ongoing drop in the number of citations issued" by the cameras.

According to the budget proposal, a newly placed traffic camera sees an initial jump in the number of citations it issues, but then it sees a significant decline. Citations peak two to three months after installation. "As behavior changes due to awareness of the cameras, the volume of citations drops substantially over time," according to the budget proposal.

Even the redeployment of cameras, with the expected revenue jump in the first couple of months after the move, will not close the gap. "The Preliminary Budget assumes redeploying these cameras to other areas that can increase traffic and pedestrian safety outcomes," according to the budget.

Still, the city expects $26 million in revenue from traffic cameras in Fiscal 2024. The city expects to have 172 red light cameras and 160 cameras throughout the city during the fiscal year, according to the budget proposal.

The budget projections do not include revenue from the speed cameras on the Jones Falls Expressway. The city started issuing tickets along its section of Interstate 83 in July 2022. The cameras along I-83 are expected to bring in $8 million in Fiscal 2024, according to the budget proposal. That's a staggering $30 million drop compared to the previous year.

The budget proposal notes:

The number of citations issued by the I-83 cameras is much lower than originally projected. The low number of citations and low collection rate are contributing to the drop in anticipated revenue.