Red Light Cameras Bringing in Big Bucks

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

It has been about a month since College Station initiated its red light camera program, and business is already booming.

A vendor has issued more than $150,000 worth of citations, and what is even more alarming, the video these cameras capture.

When he's not patrolling the streets, Phillip Brown can be found at the police station.

The traffic officer monitors four major College Station intersections for red light runners.

In February, cameras were installed at these four intersections:

1) Texas Avenue at Walton Drive
2) Harvey Road at Munson Avenue
3) Harvey Road at George Bush Drive East
4) Wellborn Road at George Bush Drive

These intersections are where drivers statistically ran the most red lights.

Since then 2,040 citations, at $75 dollars a pop, have been issued. As of Thursday the College Station Police Department still had to review 643 more offenses.

When we sat in with police, most tickets were issued for drivers who didn't stop before they turned right on red.

When we hit the streets, we saw the same thing.

"You should stop before you turn," Motorist Catherine Sandifer said. "Did you stop," we asked. "I don't know I might have."

You can also be ticketed for where you stop.

"If you stop on the crosswalk then you're forcing those pedestrians that are going to use the crosswalk into the intersection or behind you and mix in with traffic," Brown said. "He stopped past the stop bar and yes that does violate state law. State law requires you to stop behind the stop bar."

College Station traffic officers review the video captured by the cameras. They decide whether or not you get a ticket.

If you are ticketed you have 30 days to pay your $75 ticket or it goes up to $100.

You can appeal, but so far no one has done so.

Also, you can't take Drivers Ed, but the good news, the ticket is a civil offense so it won't affect your driving record.

Here are some other red light camera facts, if someone else is driving your car and runs a red light, you still get the ticket.

Also, the money you pay when your cited, is split between the red light camera vendor, the city of College Station and the state Trauma Center fund.

For more information on College Station's red light cameras, click on the link below.

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