Yesterday afternoon at the work session there was a discussion concerning the operation of Red Light Cameras in our city. The subject was brought up by Robert Rivera. He continues to take positions that are controversial because he is running for Mayor in the May election, if Mayor Cluck doesn’t run. All indications are that Mayor Cluck will run again. So we discussed the liabilities and attributes that Red Light Cameras bring to our city.
All Red Light Cameras installed on or after January 1, 2008 required pre-camera data be captured for the eighteen months prior to installation,. Of the active red light cameras online, 14 red light cameras were installed after January 1, 2008. The variances between the pre-camera data and 2013 current data is significant. 2013 Red Light related camera crashes, when compared to pre-camera crashes, are down 75% (106 to 27). Subsequently, right-angle crashes are down 58% (50 to 21) and rear-end crashes (56 to 6) are down 89%. Therefore, data shows the safety of our citizens has been improved by the installation of these cameras.
I have received emails that state that the city has tampered with the duration of the yellow light in an effort to increase the number of violations. This is not true. Every yellow light in this city has been set at 3.2 seconds as a constant. Violators state that tickets are being issued by a company in
. This isn’t true. Each violation is reviewed by an Arlington Police Officer and he issues the ticket for the violation. Some people are concerned about the revenue that is collected. The revenue from these cameras goes to the camera company, the State of Cincinnati Texas, and also to the City of . The money that goes to the city is used to fund 28 additional officer positions on our police force. Arlington
If we were to get rid of the cameras that are currently in place, and maintain the same level of surveillance, it would cost a million dollars. That would be calculated by 23 intersections and three daily shifts would equal 69 officers, plus the 28 officers that were previously mentioned wouldn’t be employed, due to lack of revenue. The City would have to outfit them with cruisers and place them at each intersection. Then violators would get a ticket for running a red light that would cost them $250 instead of $75. The difference is that if an officer issues a ticket in the field that is a criminal offense, while the camera issued ticket is a civil offense.
Now I personally don’t like the Red Light Cameras, partly because I have gotten two tickets for rolling right turns. But I saw the video, and I broke the law. Therefore, I paid the ticket, as I should. But when you look at the safety statistics, accidents are down. The prime directive of Government is to keep their citizens safe, therefore, I have to vote to keep the cameras in place for that reason.