Installing surveillance cameras at stop lights, that's the controversial move Longview city leaders may adopt at tomorrow's city council meeting. Supporters, including police, say the cameras would be a strong deterrent to drivers who might think about running a red light.

"Red light camera enforcing is something that has been utilized and come along way in the last few years , it's a tool that law enforcement uses now, intersection accidents, a lot of them are caused by people who are running red lights" says Longview Assistant Police Chief Don Dingler.

Under this system drivers caught on tape, running red lights, would be guilty of a civil violation, meaning the ticket would not go on your insurance. Several Texas cities already use the system, and red light running has dramatically gone down. If approved by city council the camera's would be placed at strategic intersections around the city and it has worked well in other cities around the country, but there is a hitch , you may not be driving when you get ticketed.

"We won't be able to identify the driver, that's one reason this is a civil violation, an ordinance will be passed making it a civil violation, and the owner of the vehicle will be held responsible" Dingler says.

The system is computer activated anytime a car runs a red light. One camera takes a picture of the vehicle. Another a picture of the license plate, while a third rolls a 12 second video. After the video tapes are reviewed, the offender would receive a citation.

"The person can actually go online and look at the violation watch themselves run the red light, we want people to change their driving habits" says Dingler.

Police say the system will free up patrol officers for other duties and most important save lives. Longview leaders will talk about the camera proposal tomorrow night at their regular city council meeting at 5:30 at city hall.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting

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