April 7, 2010
Red-Light Cameras to be, or not to be?
Springfield City Council is awaiting a response to their request for a rehearing with the Supreme Court, while contemplating three options that will decide the fate of the red light system, a city spokesperson said Wednesday.
The Supreme Court ruled that red light cameras in Springfield were unconstitutional and not permissible. There are 11 intersections in Springfield that have red light observation. Seventeen hundred tickets that were pending because of red light violations have been dropped due to the hearing on Mar. 2nd.
The city of Springfield is now left with questions on how the city can resolve the red light issues. Options that the City Council has contemplated are continuing the same process but the tickets would go to municipal court; reconfiguring the light system to take pictures of the drivers, and to shut the red light system completely.
“That’s certainly a valid option if the council chooses to do so,” Mike Brothers said, a public information officer with the city of Springfield when asked about shutting down the red light system. The city of Springfield buys the red light cameras from a company out of Georgia and it costs Springfield a flat rate of $4,195 per month and per approach. The city has said that the red light system has costs the city money. The red light system wasn’t set up to be a money maker.
“It’s about safety, not money,” Brothers said Wednesday. Brothers said that the number of red light runs and the number of crashes have decreased since the red light system has been put into place. The red light system was activated by the city of Springfield in 2006.
“Our system is unique,” Brothers said. When asked about the red light system, Brothers said that Springfield’s system was different because it was set up to not put points on driver’s license and to not go to criminal court. Brothers also explained that the red light system in Springfield does not take a picture of the drivers face.
Brothers said that the City Council is looking at having public debates and possibly a council lunch in order to try a resolve the red light issues.