Speeding cameras make a comeback - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Speeding cameras make a comeback: KCBD/Sandstorm Scholar Investigation

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The traffic camera controversy could be heading back to Lubbock, as County Commissioners plan to discuss a school zone speeding camera proposal during their Monday meeting.

The idea isn't new though - back in 2008, red light cameras were installed and taken down in a matter of months.

If commissioners push the proposal through, the county could see millions of dollars in revenue from ticket fines. However, many citizens wonder if it's worth it. State Representative John Frullo said he doesn't think so.

"Of course, any child getting hurt, none of us want to see that - but I don't think this is the way to get that accomplished," Frullo said.

Representative Charles Perry said he believes Lubbock already made its case against traffic cameras.

"It was pretty clear in Lubbock County that nobody wanted red light cameras," he said.

KCBD was the first to report on the proposal made to the commissioners by American Traffic Solutions. That's the same company that provided the controversial red light cameras in 2008.

If the county moves forward, 25 speeding cameras would be installed in school zones throughout Lubbock County, which would include school districts inside municipalities.

"Companies that have a product to sell," Perry said. "If they can get a government agency to buy off on selling and pandering to that coalition of governments out there, they make a ton of money in a hurry."

KCBD has obtained the proposal, which estimates that Lubbock County could pull in more than 18 million dollars in speeding fines in just one year.

ATS, who would install the cameras for free, wouldn't walk away empty handed either, earning up to 16 million dollars.

"So, you're not really doing anything other than creating an industry segment for more money for an industry group for lobbyists to get paid out of. It's just plain and simple," Perry said.

Back in 2007, the state legislature outlawed speeding cameras for Texas cities, but the law did not prohibit counties from installing them. Perry said that this is clearly a loop hole in the state statutes that will be addressed.

"It will be fixed next session," Perry said. "Fact of business is, I will have that bill probably drafted in the next sixty days."

County Commissioner Bubba Sedeno, who is against the proposal, said he's placed the issue on the agenda for Monday's Commissioner's Court meeting. Sedeno said they will likely vote on the issue.

KCBD will be there, bringing you updates as they happen.

For more on this story go to www.SandstormScholar.com

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