One metro Atlanta city is considering whether to keep operating its cameras that take pictures of drivers who run red lights. The city of Roswell says that the number of traffic accidents at the intersections where the cameras are posted haven't decreased.
Roswell has red light cameras installed on Alpharetta Highway at the corners of Holcomb Bridge Road and Mansell Road. Transportation director Steve Acenbrak says they haven't been effective at reducing red light crashes.
"I think there was an assumption that we would see a reduction in the red light violations, which we did see. I think there was also an assumption that we would see a crash reduction as a result, and we didn't see that," said Acenbrak.
In the 25 months prior to installing the cameras at Alpharetta Highway and Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell officials blamed red light running on three crashes. In the 22 months following their installation, the city also saw three red light crashes.
Acenbrak says that data doesn't support using the cameras or adding more.
"I'm recommending that the city council look at the data. And the data doesn't support the crash reduction," Acenbrak said.
Even though the number of red light crashes has not been reduced, Roswell Deputy Police Chief Rusty Grant says the cameras are still beneficial.
"It's much less expensive to have a camera there as opposed to having an officer at every intersection. We obviously can't do that," Grant said.
Grant said he was surprised when he saw the data on Roswell's red light cameras.
"I would have thought that the red light cameras would've reduced the number of accidents," Grant said.
But he says from a public safety perspective, it's all about the numbers.
"The purpose again of the red light camera is to reduce accidents at the intersections, and that just hasn't been proven that it significantly reduces the number of accidents," said Grant.
Since the red light cameras were installed, the city of Roswell has collected close to $4 million in citations. They have paid out more than $2 million to operate them.