11/27/2006Lubbock, Texas Installs Cameras for Revenue
Engineering improvements will not be part of a Lubbock, Texas program to install red light cameras.
The city of Lubbock, Texas is intent on having an operational red light camera program by March or April 2007 with the city council's traffic commission finalizing earlier this month the text of a automated ticketing ordinance for council implementation. City documents show that an essential element of the program's success is to avoid intersection engineering improvements prior to installing the ticketing devices. According to a "to do list" found in the city's automated enforcement proposal, the next steps include "educate citizens," "adopt ordinance and set fines," "contract with vendor," and "appoint hearing officer for appeals."
There is no mention on the list of attempting to find engineering solutions at problem intersections, as recommended by the Federal Highway Administration before starting a photo enforcement program. A Texas Transportation Institute study found, for example, an extra second of yellow over the minimum allowed reduced collisions by forty percent. Lubbock officials have already rejected this possibility, according to the minutes of the traffic committee meeting in September.
"If implemented, the public would prefer to have an increased amber cycle, but [Jere Hart with Traffic Engineering] stated the program will not adjust the amber/yellow time," the minutes stated. "Enforcement would generate revenue, more so in the initial phase, then most likely receding in subsequent years."
Another city document describing Lubbock's red light camera proposal highlights how, after taking into account start-up costs, the city of Garland made $873,400 in profit from its camera program in the first nine months. Lubbock is looking to make $2,007,360 in profit for the first year.