Red Light Cameras Put on Hold
Submitted by Heather Graf on Mon, 02/26/2007 - 11:46pm.
Red light cameras will not be coming to Macon, at least not anytime soon.
Monday night, members of city council's Public Safety Committee decided to hold off on a plan to install the cameras at ten intersections throughout the city.
They say they still have too many unanswered questions about exactly how the cameras would work, how much it would cost to install them, how much money they'd bring in, and whether they'd actually save lives in the city of Macon.
"We just need some time, and I know people think we spin our wheels a lot, but on this particular issue, it's very prudent to move slowly." - Cole Thomason, City Council Member
The decision to delay the purchase of the red light cameras comes on the same night that council members held a public hearing, to get some feedback on the cameras.
About a dozen people showed up for the hearing - and most of them were against the idea.
"People are going to get hurt awfully bad. Automobiles are going to get rear ended, and its just going to be a mess." - Bryan Blair, Driver
Another reason council members decided to table the issue, is because the Georgia state legislature is currently considering a bill that would make the cameras illegal in Georgia.
"Whether it's going to pass or not remains to be seen. But what we have to do is protect ourselves, just in case it does." - Charles Jones, City Council Member
But what's really standing in the way of bringing the cameras to Macon is money - or a lack of it.
It would cost the city half a million dollars to get the system up and running.
"The bottom line is we don't have the money to be endeavoring in such a risky project." - Cole Thomason, City Council Member
Now, this doesn't mean we've seen the end of these red light camera discussions. Council members told the city attorney and members of the mayor's administration to come back in a couple weeks, with specific answers to their questions about the cameras.
If they get the answers they're looking for - council members could decide to give the cameras another shot.