How To Squeeze Even More Money Out Of Red-Light Cameras

Just when you thought red-light cameras couldn't be more of a pain in the ass, there's this: Now cities are going to nab and ticket drivers who are uninsured, whether they plow through a red light illegally or not.

As we noted before, some HPD cruisers already have cameras that can tell if a person has a warrant on them without the cop having to enter any data; apparently the technology can be used to see if a car is insured or not.

In Chicago, a company is telling city officials that the city could take in $100 million a year by using red-light cameras to nab the uninsured.

And it's becoming a popular option in these cash-strapped times:

Citing more vehicles--including those driven safely but uninsured--could net the city more than $100 million a year, added Rowland Day, executive vice president of InsureNet, a Michigan-based company that provides instant insurance verification.

Although no state or municipality uses photo-enforcement to snare the uninsured, Day said it's only a matter of time. "We are going to have three or four states signed in the next 90 days," he said.

Of course, as one alderman points out, if a driver can't afford insurance, he probably is not going to be able to pay any fines for not having it, either.

We've got a message in to the mayor's office to see if there are any plans to use this technology in Houston; we'll let you know what they say.

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