Hit the Brakes: More red light cameras in Amarillo?

The Red Light Advisory Committee met Wednesday to discuss the possibility of installing more red light cameras at 13 intersections throughout Amarillo.

Four intersections currently have red light cameras, which Red Light Advisory Committee Member Craig Gualtiere said have cut back on traffic accidents.

"Accident rates have gone down and compliancy of not running red lights has increased," he said. "So, you've seen a decrease of tickets and what is occurring there is people knowing that there's red light cameras there and they could get a ticket."

The committee was appointed by city commissioners two months ago via state statute. Since that time, committee members have been reviewing data showing the number of traffic and pedestrian accidents at intersections, as well as traffic volume.

The committee voted on 13 intersections in its Wednesday meeting- seven of those intersections did not pass the majority vote. The other six proposed intersections will now be presented to city commissioners who will have the final say on whether or not to install cameras at those locations.

"I view this purely as a safety issue- it's not about a monetary issue," Gualtiere added. "And I think that view is probably viewed by other people. I know the police department has found it to be a very effective tool to slow down accidents, slow down drivers".

Tickets from red light cameras cost $75. They are considered civil- not criminal- matters. If a driver feels he or she received the ticket unfairly, it can be challenged with the traffic engineer and even the municipal court.

The money earned from red light camera tickets is split among the camera vendor, the State of Texas and the City.

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