Murfreesboro City Councilors Extend Red Light Camera Contract - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Murfreesboro City Councilors Extend Red Light Camera Contract

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by Emily Luxen           

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - City councilors have voted to extend a contract for red light cameras throughout Murfreesboro.

The six existing cameras have been in place for the last five years.  Before voting, city councilors listened to a presentation from the police department crediting the cameras for reducing the number of rear end and side crashes at intersections.

"Since the start of the program, we've seen a decrease in the number of crashes throughout the city," said Kyle Evans, Spokesperson for the Murfreesboro Police Department. "This has impacted driver behavior, and that was the goal of the program."

Evans added that drivers run red lights thousands of times each year, and it is a common problem throughout the city.

Murfreesboro Assistant City Manager Jim Crumley also recommended the council extend the red light contract. 

"In the last five years, we've seen collisions and total accidents decrease by more than 50 percent," said Crumley.

The city entered into the contract with ATS, Inc. in 2011. In fiscal year 2013, the city received $1,114,365 in fines from the automated traffic system, and paid $883,814 to ATS for the operation of the system, netting $230,551.

Opponents argued the city has been paying too much to operating company, and the fear of the cameras may force drivers to panic and stop, causing more accidents.

"The issue is, it is costing the city millions of dollars and it isn't making intersections safer," said Axl David, Co-Founder of Murfreesboro Citizens Against Photo Enforcement or CAPE. 

David said he feels the majority of residents do not support the cameras and city councilors should listen.

"Business organizations, activist groups and more have come together overwhelmingly against these red light cameras."

The vote would extend the red light cameras until November 30, 2014.

If a driver has been caught running a red light, they would receive a $50 ticket in the mail.

In addition to Murfreesboro, Mt. Juliet, Clarksville and Gallatin have also used red light cameras.

Email: eluxen@newschannel5.com
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