WASHINGTON -- A pro-consumer group is issuing a warning about municipal red light cameras run by for-profit outside companies.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group says that the practice of outsourcing could end up putting profits ahead of safety and accuracy.
As many as 700 communities, with a combined total of more than 60 million people, outsource their camera systems.
The report says some contracts give vendors an incentive to ensure a minimum number of citations are issued.
The report says that while police or other local officials approve which violations are issued tickets, some contracts penalize cities if they don't approve enough tickets, effectively setting a ticket quota. The report says that can undermine the authority of local authorities.
The report says local governments that don't use a vendor are accountable to voters, whereas private vendors aren't.