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Fines Collected From Philadelphia Red-Light Violators Go Mostly Elsewhere in Pa.

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(Sign warning drivers of  red-light camera at Broad and Vine in center city Philadelphia.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Sign warning drivers of red-light camera at Broad and Vine in center city Philadelphia. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which redistributes the money collected for violations caught by Philadelphia’s red light cameras, says that for the first time the city got less than half of the take.

Approximately $4.7 million in fine money collected from Philadelphia’s red light cameras in 2012 has been awarded to projects around the state, but only $1.5 million of that money will stay in Philadelphia.

Penndot spokesman Steve Chismar says that’s because of a change in state law last year.

“An eight-member team actually looks at the grant applications, and the funds are divided based on the actual application itself. Under the old formula, the City of Philadelphia received 50 percent off the top,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “That’s no longer the case.”

The formula was changed in order to win votes in the House from lawmakers in other parts of the state to renew the red light camera program.

The legislation also allows the City of Pittsburgh and a dozen suburban municipalities around Philadelphia to apply for red light cameras, but so far none have done so.

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