July 19, 2007
Amarillo says red light cameras are effective

The good news for fans of red light cameras: The city of Amarillo says they're effective at reducing the number of accidents.

The city of Amarillo released its study of red-light cameras Tuesday, giving city commissioners some facts and findings to ponder.

The 17-page report detailed recent legislation on the issue.

"From a staff standpoint, we've been analyzing red-light cameras for 18 months," said City Manager Alan Taylor.

"At the start of the legislative session, we knew there was going to be a big fight over red-light cameras. The staff waited to see what the Legislature was going to do before moving forward."

Vicki Covey, director of Community Services, said the analysis found red-light cameras have been effective in some cities.

"The very positive thing in red-light cameras is that cities that have done this have seen a marked difference in accidents," she said.

The bad news is that that's all the information the story has about the report. It doesn't have a link to the report, and so far my Google muse has failed me - I can't find it anywhere else. The City of Amarillo web page is equally useless. I'll keep trying, since I'd really love to see some hard data on these things, but for now that little tease in the story is all we've got.

In other red light camera news, here's one city that's bucking the trend.

LOS FRESNOS -- At Tuesday's city council meeting, a motion to solicit proposals for red light cameras was unanimously rejected. Mayor Pro Tem Dwight Chaffin motioned to reject, and Place One Alderwoman Yolanda Cruz seconded.

Chaffin believes there is no need for red light cameras, which photograph people running red lights. He has never heard of problems at the city's two stoplights, he said.

"There are other issues we need to take care of," he said.

So far, Harlingen is the only city in Cameron County to implement a red light camera system.

Those of you with a hankering to do a little red-light running, now you know where to go. Thanks to the Texas Politics blog for the links.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 19, 2007 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles