The Highland Finance/Personnel Subcommittee, made up of Mayor Sam Racadio and Councilman John Timmer, has changed its mind about the city’s red light camera program and are recommending that the current contract be allowed to expire in June. Earlier, the subcommittee had recommended continuing the program for at least one more year.
The new recommendation came after consultation with Captain Rod Torres, who serves as Highland’s police chief.
Torres and Sgt. Ryan Collins presented data showing that the cameras had not resulted in any noticeable decrease in accidents.
Bob Warren of Redflex, which supplies the cameras, urged continuation of the contract, noting that injury accidents had been reduced from 30 when the cameras were installed in 2008 to only eight in 2012 at camera locations.
Also, there is no cost to the city with traffic fines more than repaying the costs of operating the cameras, plus producing some revenue for other safety improvements.
Both Racadio and Timmer said they could go along either way, but their final recommendation to the full City Council is to allow the contract to expire and devote more time and effort to the Automatic License Plate Reader (ALPR) program.
Torres said the ALPR program produces better results in catching more serious offenders. The ALPR readers are mounted on patrol cars and on utility poles around the city to alert law enforcement when a wanted vehicle is in the area.