Red Light Cameras Raise Questions with City Council - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/21/04

Red Light Cameras Raise Questions with City Council

Reaction to the City Traffic Engineer's proposal for cameras at six Lubbock intersections was met with mixed reaction from the City Council Wednesday.

Backed by the traffic commission, Jere Hart is proposing the cameras to catch people who run red lights at Lubbock's busiest, and most dangerous, intersections.

Mayor Marc McDougal says, "I'm not sure council was opposed to moving forward. I think the issues are collections and gathering more facts." Facts on cost, contracts, the experiences of other cities who use the cameras.

And there are more questions: How can we be sure who was behind the wheel of the car? How can we be sure a driver wasn't moving out of the way of an emergency vehicle? Could our own police department handle the problem of risky red light runners?

The Mayor says, "We want input from the police department. They're charged with traffic control at this point and we want input from Chief and the traffic department." Police Chief Claude Jones says, "We're going to go back and draw up numbers and statistics on past accidents at locations inside the city. We'll be looking at contributing factors officers marked during their investigations."

Despite reservations in Wednesday's council work session, there were those on council that would have taken action today and placed the issue on the next council agenda. Councilwoman Linda DeLeon says, "What we have doesn't work. We've got to try something else in order to save lives in Lubbock, Texas."

The City Council expects to get some of the answers they're waiting for within a week.

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