The Texas Senate Transportation Committee will be meeting soon to discuss a couple of measure that could potentially ban the use of red light cameras across the state.
Austin currently has nine red light cameras throughout the city that cost about $584,000 to maintain, an amount the city sometimes does not make up in citations. Police argue though that at some intersections where the cameras are installed, collisions are reduced sometimes as high as 88%. Sgt. David McDonald with APD Highway Enforcement says the cameras are totally worth it. “But when you look at what’s it’s doing and the safety aspect, officers aren’t having to go out there and respond to collisions, EMS isn’t going out there, AFD isn’t going out there, it’s still a cost-saving measure for the city.”
Round Rock got rid of their red light cameras in 2015, and saw an increase in collisions a year later., although officials argued the cameras were never effective at preventing collisions in the first place, and did not deter drivers from running red lights. They also argued they could not enforce violators to pay their fines, so they replaced the costs of maintaining the cameras with more officer enforcement.