Traffic Cameras

by Tashun Chism

After months of consideration, City Council members voted to approve an ordinance to install red light cameras at some of Lufkin's most dangerous intersections. The cameras take photos of any vehicle that runs a red light and a ticket is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. Some accuse city leaders of using the cameras as a way to make extra money for the city, but others think it's a good idea.

"Any time that you can improve safety on the highways, then that's a good thing. Other states have been using cameras for a good while, and now Texas has joined in, and anything that will cause people to think about the safety of pulling up at a red light and possibly running it and getting a ticket for it and is making them stop is a good thing," said Senior Trooper Greg Sanches of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Others worry red light cameras might cause more accidents than they prevent, if drivers stop suddenly to avoid tickets. But experts know that problem is avoidable.

"Tapping the breaks is a way of letting people know that you're getting ready to stop, and really, just being a good fit driver and looking in the rearview mirrow to make sure what's going on behind you, and if you're not aware of your surroundings then you're not going to be able to do that," Sanches said.

About half of all accidents happen at intersections. That's why authorities know red light cameras have the potential to make Lufkin's intersections much safer.