Report Puts Future Of Red Light Cameras In Question - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/10/08

Report Puts Future Of Red Light Cameras In Question

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Red light cameras are not generating revenue in Lubbock and in fact, they are losing money. A new report also shows cameras are not improving safety.

City Council voted back in March, four to one, to put red light cameras across the city. Since July, cameras have been taking pictures of red light runners at 12 different intersections. However, there are now questions about the future of red light cameras in Lubbock.

Instead of these cameras preventing crashes Lubbock's Director of Public Works Marsha Reed says in the last six months, they have actually increased at red light cameras intersections.

"Crashes due to the red light violations are up. Crashes on the red light camera approach are slightly up. Rear end crashes are up. Crashes on the red light camera approach itself are up," Reed said.

The report also shows the cameras are not making money.

"It appears that we may not even be generating enough to keep those going month to month," Reed added.

Reed says it does take time to collect on red light camera ticket fines. However, at this time the city owes the red light camera company more than $18,000 in uncollected tickets.

During Thursday's City Council meeting Council Member, John Leonard said, "So the problem is revenue? We're just not producing enough revenue off these red light cameras to pay for them."

"I'm surprised by the numbers. The revenue is one thing, the number of the crashes and injuries is quite another," Mayor David Miller said.

Nor are the cameras generating an expected nearly half a million dollars in revenue. The projected funds helped to lift a city hiring freeze.

"The critical thing is that we had actually budgeted revenue from these red light cameras to the tune of half a million dollars and that it doesn't look like that is going to be there now," Leonard added.

The City Council has asked both the Citizens Red Light Photo Enforcement Committee and Citizen Traffic Commission to look at the report and present them with a recommendation. Those committees are expected to meet next Tuesday.

NewsChannel 11 has learned if Council does decide to take these cameras down it will be at the expense of the company who put them up, not City of Lubbock taxpayers.

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