Petition filed to repeal red light cameras

Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 at 7:39 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Amarillo, Texas - A new petition has been filed with the city of Amarillo. This petition doesn't involve cell phones, but the city's red light cameras.

While petition organizers say no one should run red lights, residents would greater benefit from larger police presence rather than funding an out of state business.

The petition filed last week to repeal the city's red light camera ordinance is asking for more officers to replace cameras.

"You could actually dedicate officers to every intersection that has red light cameras and come out about even. But at least you've got more officers to respond to other urgent issues like wrecks at those intersections," David Kossey, petition organizer says.

But city officials say the cameras are effective in promoting safety.

"In areas where the cameras are installed and people know them, they know not to run the red lights or they face a fine. What we hope that translates into is them not running red lights anywhere throughout the city," Sonja Gross, City of Amarillo Community Relations Coordinator says.

The petition also states the effectiveness of the cameras goes down because the city cannot enforce payment of violations. Violations written by officers would increase collect-ability of traffic citations.

"If a police officer writes you a ticket for running a red light, you have to pay it or they can send you for a warrant. If you don't pay these red light camera tickets, essentially it can go to collections, but it's almost voluntary," Kossey says.

But the revenue isn't the reason the city says the cameras are in place.

"The revenue is not what is important to the city because it is earmarked and it is negligible so to speak. What is important here is the safety aspect of the red light cameras," Gross says.

Over the weekend alone the red light petition has received more than 300 signatures.