One group said take them down. Friday, another group said keep them up. Now the fate of Lubbock's red light cameras rests in the city council's hands.
A five to two vote has two groups giving city council different opinions on Lubbock's red light cameras. "The recommendation would be, from the Citizens Traffic Commission, to continue with the red light photo enforcement for another six months," commission chair David Miller said.
Miller voted in favor of keeping the cameras, joined by Brian Baker, Isaac Garnett, Larry Lowe, and David White. "I'm just not going to change my mind on that; I think there are some strong due process issues. I also think there might have been too much emphasis put on the revenue side of it," commission member Ronnie Sowell said.
Sowell voted against the cameras, joined by Jimmy Thompson. The commission's vote goes against the recommendation agreed upon by the Citizens Photographic Traffic Signal Enforcement Committee last month.
They voted four to two, recommending to remove the cameras. One member did not attend that meeting. "Injuries are up 25% at our intersections that don't have red light cameras. Injuries are down 13% at intersections that do. That's a 38% swing, and to me it tells me that the cameras are working," said Miller.
Council asked both groups for an opinion. The state required Lubbock to create a citizens group to make recommendations on red light cameras.
Before those members were put into place, though, the Citizens Traffic Commission recommended installing the system. So council wanted both groups to have a say. "There are two groups; we have two different opinions. I think the city council has got to take that recommendation and then make a decision based on both recommendations," said Miller.
NewsChannel 11 asked Sowell if he feels both groups have the same influence. "Equal? Well, if you look at it that way they'd have to say the total responsibility belongs to the council, which it does anyway; I think they're going to leave the cameras up," Sowell said.
Both groups are scheduled to make their recommendations to council on February 14th. It's interesting to note that if you add both votes, five to two to keep the cameras from the Citizens Traffic Commission and four to two to take them down from the Citizens Photographic Traffic Signal Enforcement Committee, keeping cameras up is favored seven to six. NewsChannel 11 wants to point out both groups share one member.
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