Tomorrow, a group of citizens should make an important decision about red light cameras in Lubbock.
This committee was appointed by Lubbock City Council to oversee the controversial program. Well, they haven't been on the job but a few months and it appears their first big decision will be to recommend council get rid of the cameras. That's because a recent study showed crashes at these intersections were up and revenue was down. In fact, there's not enough fine money to pay the company to operate the cameras.
But that shouldn't be a surprise. A study done by the camera company well before the program started suggested what is now true, that Lubbock traffic couldn't support the program. Meaning we don't have enough violators to pay for it, much less make the $1.5 million that was put in the budget.
And if you'll recall, that is money city hall just can't live without. The city manager even put a hiring freeze in place because the cameras were slightly delayed at first. So is another hiring freeze on the way?
Consider this, several members of the city council worked very hard to get these cameras up knowing they might not work. They didn't listen to their constituents, they didn't listen to the camera company, will they now listen to the committee that they appointed?
The fact is we have a defunct program that is putting a strain on city hall's budget. My guess is these cameras are coming down very soon, either by council vote or the camera company pulling out. But not before months of time, effort, energy, and tax money was spent on this issue...valuable resources on a red light program that had red flags from the beginning.
I simply can't help but wonder what good our city leaders could have done in that time without this distraction. And in the end, we're still left with a very real problem of red light runners in Lubbock.
So back to what I've said before, let's drop the money-making schemes and get back to basics.
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