Citizens Group Recommends Red Light Cameras Come Down - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/22/08

Citizens Group Recommends Red Light Cameras Come Down

No more time is needed to take the cameras down. That is the recommendation the Citizens Photographic Traffic Signal Enforcement Committee plans to give Lubbock City Council.

Last week, Lubbock City Council asked two citizens traffic groups to review a six-month red light camera report and make recommendations. The report showed the cameras were losing money and accidents were up at red light camera intersections.

Tuesday morning the state mandated Citizens Photographic Traffic Signal Enforcement Committee met to discuss a recommendation. Chairman David Spears started the discussion. He said, "We're here to resume the meeting we started a week ago."

The group is just one of two helping to decide the fate of red light cameras in Lubbock.

"The purpose of red light cameras is to change driver behavior citywide," Spears said.

Tuesday city staff and the company operating the cameras provided a more in-depth look at red light camera intersection accidents.

City of Lubbock Traffic Engineer Jere Hart said, "The photo enforcement approach you see a significant decrease in injuries. That's what's happened."

 In the end, the red light camera company is asking for more time. However, Spears and three other members say the cameras should come down now.

"It's obvious that the cameras should be removed, there are no hard feelings, no ‘I told you so', just a clear and objective recommendation to end the experiment now," Spears said.

Committee member Randy Sanders added, "I don't see a significant number of decreases in accidents to make a difference."

"Essentially looking at six months of data, and looking for a change, I don't see it coming," Richard Jollay said.

Ken Corbin added, "We have a problem enforcing what we have and there is no guarantee that even if they're willing to pay for the data that it would be transferred over to the tax assessor-collector."

Before the vote, two other committee members argued the cameras should stay up for the year trial period set out by the city council.

"Bottom line I feel like we should give it a year and let it play out and see what's happened at that time," Larry Lowe said.

Alicia Alvarez added, "I think we need more education and so I am going to agree with Mr. Lowe."

In the end, the vote was 4-2, with one member absent, to recommend that the cameras come down.

The other group making a recommendation, the Citizens Traffic Commission, plans to meet next week. Both committees hope to have their recommendations ready to present at the February 14 city council meeting.

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