Red Light Camera Review Set For Thursday - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/8/08

Red Light Camera Review Set For Thursday

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Thursday, the Lubbock City Council will hear a six-month review of Lubbock's red light cameras, and that upcoming report has fueled talk that the council may take the cameras down.

We can tell you that council is not scheduled to make a decision on the camera's future this Thursday.

We know that the last report on red light cameras was not glowing. Is showed that intersections with cameras had fewer red light runners, but it also showed more crashes, with rear-end collisions nearly doubling.

NewsChannel 11 learned more about the city's camera contract, and found out where some of the rumors that the city is already planning to take these cameras down are coming from.

"Crashes are up. The ones due to red light violations are actually down. Rear-end crashes are up, and total injuries are down," Lubbock Director of Public Works Marsha Reed said.

That's the gist of a three month review on Lubbock's red light cameras, released in October.

"It will take at least a year for use to have good data to go back and see if we're really making a difference," Reed said. 

Council will review the second study on Thursday, and the Citizens Traffic Commission has a joint meeting scheduled with the Citizens Photographic Traffic Signal Enforcement Committee on the 15th. Both groups advise council on policy, and they're expected to review this latest study at that meeting.

"The only thing it's for is revenue," Lubbock City Councilman John Leonard said. 

He authored an amendment to remove the cameras this summer. That's after lawmakers changed state law to take half of all red light camera revenue to fund area trauma centers.

We checked the city's five year contract with American Traffic Solutions, and it says the city can terminate the contract if laws change, and the city would not have any further payments, other than some specific costs outlined in the agreement.

In June, council voted to keep the cameras and that was the last big discussion about taking the cameras down, until this week.

A posting on the Lubbock Avalanche Journal's forum page stirred up rumors that a city employee heard the cameras were done.

We checked it out for ourselves, and the writer says they're an employee of the fire department, and that they heard about the camera's alleged demise at what's commonly called a chief's meeting.

We contacted city hall, and they tell us that cameras may have been talked about, but the fire department has no say in the decision making process for the cameras. As far as this posting, they say it's just rumor.

NewsChannel 11 will be at Thursday's meeting to bring you the details of this latest report, and any new developments with the city's camera enforcement.

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