by Tashun Chism
Several of Lufkin's red light cameras finally went online today.
"Frankly it's a relief to get the thing up and going," said Lt. Young of the Lufkin Police Department.
The project was delayed for several months due to a lack of permits and signage. But the cameras have actually been up and working for a while. Lufkin police say during the testing period, the cameras took pictures of hundreds of vehicles running red lights. Some intersections were worse than others.
"The bulk of the testing that we've done so far has been on the ones on the west loop and at 59 South and the loop and Copeland and the loop right now sure seems to be leading the pack," said Young.
We waited at Copeland and Loop 287 with our camera, but while we were there, we didn't see any red light runners. Officials want it to stay that way, but they know it probably won't.
We anticipate a pretty big spike early on until people become used to them being there. And I think once everyone realizes they're there and they're working that we'll see a slight decrease and then it will level off after a time," Young told us.
Officials hope the 30 day warning period that starts today will help drivers get used to stopping at red lights. But drivers who continue to ignore the red lights will soon have to pay for their mistakes.
"This whole purpose of this is to prevent running red lights. If it takes $75 to get their attention, then that's what we're going to do," Young warned.