2/15/2008Lubbock, Texas Red Light Cameras Unplugged
Lubbock, Texas city council votes to dismantle red light cameras after accidents increase without profit to the city.
The Lubbock, Texas city council voted 4-3 yesterday to deactivate the city's twelve red light cameras. The devices issued their final tickets just before midnight and will be now be taken down at the expense of American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the vendor in charge of the system. A citizen panel charged by a new state law with reviewing the program last month recommended that it be dismantled.
"The point of cameras is to change citywide driving behavior, not just at camera intersections," committee chairman David Spears said. "The problem is the change has been for the worse."
Spears referred to a preliminary report which had found that accidents jumped 52 percent after the cameras went up. The system's dismal financial performance may have had even more influence on yesterday's decision. City leaders had been counting on the machines to deliver $2 million in profit and help balance the budget. But disappointing collections resulted after news reports disrupted plans to place cameras at intersections with short yellow warning times and little prior accident history. This left the city with no net profit from the program.