Thursday, May 21, 2009

Council OKs Move Toward Red Light Cameras

The Cookeville city council Thursday night approved an ordinance which will allow the city to contract with a vendor to install traffic light cameras at some intersections in the city. But council member also said that any decision on whether or not the system would be installed has yet to be made. Still, at least two local residents expressed concern about the proposal. Bill Barnhart says the council should rely on statistical data, rather than anecdotal evidence when it comes to whether the cameras actually improve safety. He says a 2005 study by federal transportation officials indicates that the cameras make little, if any, difference in the number of crashes. The study, he says, suggests that while T-bone crashes might decrease slightly, the cameras also contribute to a slight increase in rear-end crashes. But all five council members voted in favor of the ordinance, while noting that -- if such a system is installed in the future -- any citations issued would be considered non-moving violations and would not go against the driver's record.