Red light camera generates thousands in fines and many questions - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Red light camera generates thousands in fines and many questions

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

  When city leaders put up the Red Light camera at the intersection of 15th Street and Hilliard Drive, there was a grace period.  But, there is NO mercy now.  306 drivers received tickets in the mail in September -- the first month of operation.  The camera generated 216 tickets in October and 262 last month.   At $110 fine per ticket, that's more than $85,000 collected over the three month period.  

  "I just think its crazy how its getting so many people," said driver Chandler Brooks.  The intersection is part of his daily commute. "Traffic gets heavy you know and you're just trying to get somewhere quick and you go right under it."

   Whatever the reason...ABC 33/40's cameras caught dozens of cars speeding through the yellow or red light all in just 20 minutes.

    Another driver, Jacob Wright Blames congestion on 15th Street. "They're [drivers of cars] always in a rush, trying to get to work and school. This intersection is particularly busy and you've got the train that backs people up so sometimes they'll take off faster to catch up..."

    The city will soon put up five more red light cams.  Two will be at the north and south bound intersections of Lurleen Wallace and University Boulevard.  Brooks says,"That's going to bring in a lot of money -- cause I know people are trying to get places around here."

    City leaders maintain the cameras are not for money, rather safety.  Some people say, what they see at the 15th Street intersection everyday justifies the need for the red light cameras. "It can be helpful. It will cut down on traffic. It makes people more aware of whether or not they should go through the lights and push their limits on them."

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