Odessa Red Light Cameras Get Public Hearing

Odessa Red Light Cameras Get Public Hearing

by Brian Wise
NewsWest 9 

ODESSA- Red light cameras were the topic of discussion on Tuesday night. The Odessa City Council held a public hearing and called individuals over for comment.

The public had both questions and concerns about the red light cameras which could be going in this year in Odessa, the cameras are for people that cross the intersection line while the light is red. Some residents don't believe the city council has asked enough questions about where money from these cameras is going.

Conrad Turner says the city has so many taxes already and he wants to know where the money goes from these red light cameras.

"He says excess funds, but you know what none of you people have asked, 'How much does he charge? How much goes to the state of Texas or someplace else?" Turner asked.

The fee for running a red light is $75. Half of the money goes toward the city, half goes toward the state and a portion of both goes to American Traffic Solutions, the company that would supply these cameras to Odessa.

If red light cameras are put into place they would be put at intersections with the most traffic and the most accidents.

Zach Flowers believes that he'll be safer with these cameras when he goes to school.

"I'm an 8th grader at Nimitz Junior High and everyday coming to and from school, I cross Maple Street. It's nice to know that it's safe for me to cross the street and that people will be considering that there is a red light in front of them," Flowers said.

Two people were opposed and two people were for the red light cameras. Flowers and his father, Mark, want more safety, but resident Ben Upton, who spoke at the hearing, doesn't believe that the fine will do any good.

"For some people it may be a problem. Others, it's not going to be a problem at all. And that's what I'm more worried about is the fact that it's not going to impact them enough. Whereas if a police officer pulls them over for that same violation, they're going to get a hit on their insurance, they're going to get hit on their drivers record and all these other things that will kind of add up," Upton said.

The City Council has yet to decide whether these cameras will go in. If the decision passes, the cameras will be up after 90 days in major intersections with the most traffic.