Lubbock City Council Votes to Halt Red Light Cameras - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/14/08

Lubbock City Council Votes to Halt Red Light Cameras

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Thursday night is now the last night you can get a red light camera ticket in Lubbock.

American Traffic Solutions who runs the cameras says they are shutting the system down at midnight. That announcement came just hours after the Lubbock City Council voted to take the cameras down. The council voted four to three Thursday morning to remove the cameras six months after installation.

Two citizen traffic groups gave two different opinions. The state mandated committee told city council Thursday morning the red light cameras should be taken down, but the Citizen's Traffic Commission asked the council to keep them in place for a full year before making a decision.

Their votes come after a six-month study showed a rise in accidents at red light camera intersections and the cameras were losing money.

With the issue now resting in the hands of the Lubbock City Council, nothing could stop each member from voicing their opinions.

"The person driving that automobile is responsible for the collision or for running that red light, it's not the camera. It's not!" says Lubbock City Councilman Floyd Price.

"I got a citation for running a red light camera. I swore up and down that I hadn't run it. But, after looking at the picture, it was a wakeup call for me," says Lubbock City Councilwoman Linda DeLeon.

"I think this project has garnered way to much negative media attention and it's impeded the positive energy that needs to be spread throughout our community," says Lubbock City Councilwoman Phyllis Jones.

"If we want to talk about positive energy, if we want to talk about goodwill and positive energy in our public and citizens from this council, I think we can stop going against the will of the people. That would create some positive energy," says Lubbock City Councilman John Leonard.

"As opposed to arguing this until infinity, I believe we do have enough data to make a decision and I believe the data points out these red light cameras improve public safety," says Lubbock Mayor David Miller.

Miller has repeatedly expressed his belief that the red light cameras should stay up for at least one year - a reason why his final decision came as a shock to many Thursday morning.

"It is because of these two principles, safety on one hand and unity of our citizens on the other hand, that I will be casting a vote to take down these red light cameras," says Mayor Miller.

A decision that the city's chief financial officer says will affect the city's budget.

"Anytime you have planned revenue that doesn't come in as you anticipate there's going to be a service impact of some kind but we'll continue to manage that to mitigate these impacts as much as possible," says Jeff Yates, the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Lubbock.

For Leonard, Wednesday's vote held personal significance. From the get go, Leonard tried to stop the installment of red light cameras.

"I'm glad that finally common sense has prevailed on this issue," says Leonard.

Once again, the red light cameras will no longer be in operation as of midnight Thursday.

Thursday was the first reading to repeal the city ordinance. A second and final reading of the repeal is scheduled for February 28.

One more side note if you have received a red light ticket already or receive one before midnight Thursday, you are still responsible for paying that fine.

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