12/7/2007Texas City Finds Red Light Cameras Not Needed
Grapevine, Texas cancels plans for red light cameras after learning they will cost money to operate.
The city of Grapevine, Texas on Tuesday rejected a proposal to install red light cameras after figures showed the program would lose money. Flat-rate ticket contracts mandated by a state law that took effect in September opened the possibility that the program could actually lose money. According to city staff estimates, the photo enforcement public safety project would have cost the city budget $70,000 a year to operate ($502,000 paid to the vendor with only $432,000 in ticket revenue).
"Having more enforcement by officers, changing the timing of the lights -- that fits Grapevine better than red-light cameras," City Councilman Mike Lease said, as reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper.
City officials noted disturbing statistics that showed 3000 traffic accidents between 2003 and 2005. A closer look showed that intersections averaged fewer than one collision each year caused by drivers ignoring a red light. Independent research has shown red light cameras caused an increase in the number of injury accidents and rear end accidents in several cities. The Texas Transportation Institute concluded that increasing yellow signal timing one second beyond the ITE recommended minimum value reduced accidents by forty percent.