The number of people receiving red-light tickets in Rockville more than doubled in 2012, according to information released on the city's website.
The city issued 17,794 tickets for drivers who were caught on camera in 2012, compared to 8,638 in 2011. That's an increase of 105 percent.
Each ticket carries a fine of $75 -- which means Rockville raked in an extra $686,700 last year.
What could have caused the increase? Rockville switched vendors in 2012, then replaced all of the city’s 10 red-light cameras between April and August. Current cameras include full motion video capability, according to the city's website.
"Voilà," said John B. Townsend II, the manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, in a press release. "The city adds nearly 10,000 more red light runners than it had the previous year, and [gets] a veritable bank vault of new ticket revenue for city coffers."
Townsend said one concern with the system is how citations are issued. He said the system doesn't just target reckless red-light runners. Drivers who stop even a little bit beyond the white line may see a fine in the mail, as might drivers who fail to come to a complete stop before turning right on red. Sensors in the ground called pucks determine how fast a car is approaching an intersection, and if a car makes a right turn going faster than 13 mph and the whole car is over the white line, the camera flashes.
The city's website says Rockville began using red-light cameras in 2002 in an effort to protect pedestrians.
However, AAA says that in 2009, the Federal Highway Administration found the use of red-light camera stop lines don't conform to national standards.
Some drivers believe it's "patently unfair," Townsend said.
News4 transportation reporter Adam Tuss also learned Rockville is planning to install new cameras at the following locations:
- W. Jefferson Street at W. Montgomery Avenue
- Park Road at N. Stonestreet Avenue
- W. Jefferson Street at S. Washington Street
- N. Washington Street at Middle Lane
- Tower Oaks Boulevard at I-270.