Red light cameras recently returned to 11 intersections in Fayetteville, North Carolina after being gone for the past several years. The cameras were removed after a funding dispute. North Carolina law mandates that receipts from traffic tickets be provided to school districts, and Fayetteville’s program involved a private operator that ran the cameras and kept a portion of proceeds. It was determined that this arrangement violated the school funding requirement, and the program was discontinued. But Fayetteville recently reinstated the program, this time paying for the cameras out of tax revenue, and giving the proceeds of tickets to the school district without paying a portion of each ticket to the operator.
However, the program has its critics. After all, no one likes getting a ticket, even if these tickets do not carry insurance points. To address complaints, the City of Fayetteville has released videos taken from the first few weeks of the cameras’ operation. The videos, show here on abc11.com show disturbing violations, with drivers far exceeding posted speed limits and running lights that had turned red far before the cars’ arrival at the intersections. The point is that red light cameras are not just a funding mechanism for our schools, but a safety issue.