Reports Show Red Light Cameras Decrease Accidents - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Reports Show Red Light Cameras Decrease Accidents

Vicky Covey Vicky Covey

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - Red light cameras are having an impact, but there are still too many close calls when it comes to running lights in Amarillo.

The first camera was installed in mid 2008.  A year and a half later, city officials say the five total are serving their purpose.

In any given month, more than 1,000 drivers will be ticketed for running a red light at SE 11th & Pierce downtown.  The city says that is not too bad.

Vicky Covey says, "I think the cameras are working well. They're having the desired impact of making people aware of red lights."

City data shows the cameras are lowering the number of accidents.

Before the cameras, there were 15 side impact collisions at Pierce & SE 11th during an 18 month period.  In the 2008-2009 fiscal year, that number was six.

Still, hundreds of people every week are tempting fate by running red lights all over the city...even when the lights have been red for a long time, like more than 10 seconds.

Corporal Robert Gabel watches each violation and decides who gets a ticket.

One video shows a driver at Coulter and I-40 barely avoiding a crash.

Gabel says, "it's clearly red. How this person didn't get nailed in the door is just sheer luck."

That person will get a ticket in the mail next week.

Gabel says he approves between 600 and 700 tickets every week because, according to him, 99 percent of violators know the light they are running is red.

According to reports given to us by the city, the number of overall collisions in that 18 month period at the red light camera intersections before the cameras was 106.

In the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the total number of collisions at all red light camera intersections was 69.

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