Will Red Light Cameras Stay In Amarillo?
You're cruising down Coulter and suddenly the traffic light turns yellow. What do you do? Slam on the brakes or gun it? Chances are you have asked yourself that very question several times around Amarillo. Red light camera have been in place for almost 10 years but their future here might be up in the air.
The City of Amarillo contracts operation of their red light cameras to an independent company, American Traffic Solutions. That contract is set to expire on August 29th and decisions have to be made before that time whether the cameras stay or go. As it stands, unless the city chooses not to renew, it is set to automatically renew for another 5 years.
"The most important thing is that we do everything we can to keep Amarillo citizens safe," said Mayor Ginger Nelson to KFDA-TV. "The statistics and the facts show that red light cameras keep people safe. They definitely decrease the number of accidents as well as the number of fatalities at those intersections."
Right now, the city has 9 camera locations and on average each camera catches about 9 red light runners a day.
- North and Southbound Coulter St. @ Elmhurst Dr.
- Southbound S. Pierce St. @ SE 3rd St.
- Southbound S. Pierce St. @ SE 11th Ave.
- Northbound S. Ross St. @ E. I-40 (appears to be inactive due to construction)
- Westbound W I-40 @ Coulter St.
- Northbound Amarillo Blvd W./I-40 @ Tascosa Rd./Gem Lake Rd.
- Westbound Amarillo Blvd E./I-40 @ N. Pierce St.
- Westbound Amarillo Blvd E./I-40 @ N. Fillmore St.
- Southbound S. Taylor St./US 287 @ SE 10th Ave.
Although the cameras can be a pain in the rear to drivers, they are actually shown to help. There has been a reported 30% decrease in city wide intersection related fatal crashes since the camera were installed. The consensus right now is that the Traffic Advisory Board for Amarillo will vote to keep the cameras and possibly look to add more. The board plans to meet with Amarillo Police Department to evaluate each camera location and see if any intersections could benefit from the addition of red light camera.
Another benefit for the city by having the cameras are revenue. Since their installation in 2008, the city has collected $2.4 million. TxDot received $1.7 million, and American Traffic Solutions banked $3.7 million.
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