FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -
Fayetteville city council is now taking another approach to put red light cameras back at intersections. During discussion this week they considered pushing to change the law that forced the city to take down the cameras seven years ago.
Many other cities also took down their red light cameras because of that law. It required 90 percent of payments from violations to go to local school systems. Violations dropped to a point that the remaining 10 percent was not enough to cover the cost of operating the cameras.
So Fayetteville's city council hopes to get the law changed to allow the city to cover the cost of cameras first and then send any additional money to schools. Councilman Jim Arp who has pushed to reinstall the cameras said he supports the law change.
“That would allow the cost of the cameras to be covered by the fees, and then whatever money is left after the cost of the cameras, to go to the school system,” Arp said.
He believes the cameras will cut down on accidents, which could reduce car insurance rates. He also thinks the cameras could help free up police officers.
“Our perspective is simply it’s a way to deter risky behavior on our roads and to save lives,” Arp said. “So the idea is to see if we can get a modification to the current law.”
Council will take a vote next week, and if they unanimously support red light cameras, they will ask state senator Wesley Meredith to introduce the new law in the upcoming legislative session.
Fayetteville previously had ten cameras at eight intersections around the city. The city ended its red light camera program and took them down in 2007.
Data show that while the cameras were in operation side-angle accidents dropped at some intersections up to 60 percent. The city’s data also show rear-end collisions also dropped.
Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.More>>