Local Group Protests Red Light Cameras - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Local Group Protests Red Light Cameras

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by Marcus Washington

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – During talks of expanding the red light camera system in Murfreesboro, a group is pushing to eliminate the cameras all together.

Racing to beat a red light gives you a 50/50 chance of automatically getting a ticket in Murfreesboro, because even if an officer is not around, you are being watched.

These automated red light cameras were put in place in 2008 as part of Project Safe Streets in Murfreesboro.

Since the cameras have been put in place, police said accidents at intersections in the city have gone down from 1,692 in 2008 to 1,003 in 2012.

At just the six intersections where cameras are located, the decrease is much smaller going from 173 to 160.

"It just goes all across the city, people are driving safer. Be it safety improvements with cars or people are more aware of what's going on. The cameras aren't doing anything," said Axl David, co-founder of Murfreesboro CAPE (Citizens Against Photo Enforcement).

David and fellow Murfreesboro CARE co-founder Timothy Merdith said most of the money collected from tickets goes back to the company who administers the camera system, American Traffic Solutions based in Arizona.

"If they run a red light here and the camera catches them, a cop doesn't stop them, they continue down to the next intersection and they run into someone and kill them because they are drunk," said David.

"It's not helping the city at all. We would get more monetary benefit by having police pull people over and having it (money) stay in the community. Then at least we are employing police locally," said Merdith.

With recent upgrades, the city of Murfreesboro is looking to expand its current system, but David and Merdith have started a petition to get them tossed out.

"I want cops to stop these people. If they see a red light runner, I want them to stop them and not let them go through and rely on a robot to issue tickets," said David.

The city of Murfreesboro and the police department stand behind the camera system, saying since they have been installed, accidents have gone down.

Police also said they help in criminal cases, like a hit and run incident when a bicyclist was hit by an SUV.

To sign the Citizens Against Photo Enforcement petition click here.

Email: mwashington@newschannel5.com
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