The debate on red light cameras continues among Amarillo residents.
The City of Amarillo renewed a 5-year contract with American Traffic Solutions. The renewal comes after the completion of a prior contract.
"The City of Amarillo had entered 5 years ago into a contract with ATS, American Traffic Solutions, to install and maintain red light cameras at various intersections throughout the city", says Community Relations Coordinator, Sonja Gross.
Camera locations were then determined by commissioners and a citizen advisory committee. "The traffic engineering department does a study which is prescribed by state law at each intersection to determine whether or not there is a physical or geometric flaw with the intersection", says Jerry Bird, City of Amarillo Traffic Engineer.
Commissioners and the traffic committee work with ATS to determine camera placement. Research and studies help in determining which areas are considered "high risk". These areas include intersections with higher collisions, traffic tickets, and pedestrian complications.
To date, red light cameras have generated over 4 million dollars in revenue since their implementation in June of 2007. "We're obligated under our contract to pay for the leasing of the equipment to ATS. After that the fines that are collected, half of that money goes to the state. It's earmarked for the development of trauma centers across the state. That has not happened yet", says Gross.
Money that is dispersed to the city is used toward traffic safety programs, pedestrian safety programs, public safety programs, intersection improvements, and traffic enforcement.