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Contract for red light cameras up for renewal

3 years 8 months 1 week ago September 10, 2013 Sep 10, 2013 Tuesday, September 10 2013 September 10, 2013 5:41 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Jason Newton

ZACHARY - The lunchtime traffic flows a little slower along Highway 19 in Zachary, drivers seemingly wary of the traffic camera catching all speeders without prejudice.

"The ones in Zachary don't bother me at all," Vicki Barry said. "I think they're a good idea. They keep people from speeding where they don't need to be speeding."

But Mayor David Amrhein doesn't quite share that sentiment.

"I think it teaches people to slow down where they are," Amrhein said. "You can see them slow down and speed up."

One of his main goals after taking over as mayor was to get rid of the Redflex traffic cameras, which he contends don't change bad driving habits. The contract with Redflex is due to expire in two weeks, and is up before the city council for renewal tonight.

The tickets issued are also often left unpaid, because they're not classified as criminal penalties. Right now there's more than $2 million in uncollected money from traffic camera citations which city officials say they may never see.

"If you get stopped by a police officer, that changes driving habits because you can't dodge that ticket," Amrhein said. "If you do, they'll issue a bench warrant and you'll wind up in court. City will eventually get money or you'll go to jail."

Zachary Police Chief David McDavid said although the cameras serve a purpose, they cannot replace the human interaction his officers provide.

For others who live and travel through Zachary, the cameras are a nuisance they've had enough of.

"The whole process is a revenue generator and not a real law enforcement tool," said resident Paul Barry.

News 2 will have an update on what happens at the city council meeting tonight at 10 p.m.

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