Lubbock's Red Light Camera Controversy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/24/04

Lubbock's Red Light Camera Controversy

It's been a debated issue in Lubbock since 2002, putting cameras on traffic lights to catch red light runners. Now where does this issue of the past stand?

Right now, the Lubbock City Council is considering the proposal. NewsChannel 11 spoke to the city traffic engineer and Lubbock drivers and found it remains a controversial subject.

"What we had proposed is taking a picture from the back of a car, you can see the license plate and the color of the car but not who the driver is," explains City Traffic Engineer Jere Hart.

With traffic cameras catching red light violators, who gets the citation? "The ticket would be issued to the owner of the vehicle," says Hart.

Motorists we spoke to feared being ticketed if someone else was driving their vehicle and committed the violation. "I don't think it's a good idea, I just don't think it would work," says Chris Calderon, driver.

"I don't think giving a ticket to someone else's car would be the answer," says one Lubbock driver.

"I think it's a good idea, I'm not sure that it's enforceable but it might deter some people," says Becky Furlow optimistically.

And that's what The Citizen's Traffic Commission is working to accomplish. "What we've seen around the country is photo enforcement, shows a decrease in people running red lights," he explains.

"There's a lot less accidents at red lights especially on my side of town in San Antonio, because people would run them especially at night," says Stephen Scallor, San Antonio native.

Hart says cities with cameras at intersections have also experienced a decrease in collisions, something he would like to see. "Especially since we've seen the number of collisions in Lubbock going up, it's 10% higher that it was the year before," says Hart.

"You're on a public street and running a red light - get a ticket," says Scallor.

"Having someone keep an eye on my daughter while she's up here in school is a good idea," says Terry Lawrence who just helped his daughter move into her Texas Tech dorm.

But if his Tech student happens to run a red light guess who's getting the fine... "I'm going to get her ticket, wow! That's probably still a good thing, keep everyone in line," says the dad.

Now, the Commission is waiting on the green light from city council about a final decision about the policy. By the way the fine for running a red light can be up to $212.

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