Victoria to consider cameras at traffic lights
October 18, 2006 - Posted at 3:23 a.m.
BY DAVID TEWES - VICTORIA ADVOCATE
City officials said Tuesday it's time to reexamine the need to install cameras at key intersections in Victoria to catch drivers who run red lights and risk their safety and the safety of others.
"It's strictly a safety issue," Mayor Will Armstrong said. "I see people running yellow lights frequently. It's not against the law, but they push it to the limit and occasionally go through a red light."
The city council asked the city staff to prepare a report on the possibility of installing the red light cameras and present the information at a later meeting. The council considered the possibility of installing cameras several years ago, but no action was taken.
"As far as I'm concerned, I think it's a good idea," Council Member Philip Guittard said. "I would like to see it looked into."
Council Member Jim Wyatt said he's not convinced of the need for cameras. But Wyatt and council members Tom Halepaska and David Hagan said there's no harm in hearing the report.
Police Chief Richard Jones said when a camera catches someone running a red light, a ticket is then mailed to the owner of the vehicle.
He said the action could be civil or criminal, depending on what the council chooses. But he said civil action would not go on a person's driving record.
"The whole object of traffic enforcement is to reduce accidents, reduce property damage, injuries and deaths," Jones said. He said he's heard the cameras are successful in doing that.
The city has already installed cameras along major thoroughfares in Victoria. But they are used only to synchronize traffic lights and do not archive images.
Public Works Director John Johnston said the red light camera companies the city has talked with in the past have their own equipment. He said they would probably rather use that equipment than the cameras already installed by the city.
David Tewes is a reporter for the Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6515 or email@example.com, or comment on this story at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.