FAYETTEVILLE- The City of Fayetteville is considering bringing back red light cameras. The cameras were removed in 2006 after North Carolina courts mandated that all proceeds from the tickets must go to the public schools.
Some Fayetteville City Council members say many drivers in the city are at risk and they are hoping to change that. "We have a problem with traffic here in Fayetteville, with people running red lights,” said council member Jim Arp.
In 2006 the city removed a red light program that placed cameras at several major intersections across the All American City. Now, they want to bring them back.
"People didn't run that traffic light. They knew if they did they ran the risk of being cited with a civil fine,” Arp said.
Fayetteville would be among Raleigh and Wilmington if the red light cameras are put back in place. Many cities removed the cameras after North Carolina law stated that all proceeds from the tickets given had to go to the public schools, leaving no money to pay for the program itself. Fayetteville leaders hope to reach a compromise.
"We're trying to work out a way that we can do this where with the General Assembly approval and our local delegations supporting it that enough money from the fees could be retained to pay for the cost of the cameras so we don't put a burden on the tax payer,” Arp said.
Research has showed that red light cameras do reduce the amount of serious accidents at intersections.
"So what the overall results are, for most of the studies you will see a general decrease in serious injury crashes anywhere between 25 percent and 40 percent while you will see an increase in rear end collisions. That may go up as much as 40 percent,” said David Harkey, UNC Highway Safety Research Center Director.
The city council has proposed that the citations range from 75 to 100 dollars and money left after paying the contracting costs for the cameras would go to the school system.