Red lights mean green for GOPMORE THAN 90,000 motorists have been nailed for running red lights in the first three years of Philadelphia's camera-enforcement program. At $100 a shot, they've paid $9.1 million in fines.
Backers of the red-light program say the main beneficiary has been public safety.
"Incidents of death, injury and property damage are dramatically down at the intersections where cameras are installed," the Parking Authority's board chairman, Joseph T. Ashdale, said in a news release last month.
Other beneficiaries include Republican Party officials and their kin.
Like the explosive growth in the Parking Authority's staff and salaries, reported last year by the Daily News, the red-light-camera program has created more jobs for Republican ward leaders, committeemen and their families.
It has also led to thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for GOP organizations and candidates.
More than anyone else, the contributions have flowed to state Rep. John Perzel, the Northeast Philadelphia Republican who engineered a GOP takeover of the Parking Authority in mid-2001.