Red light camera program ending in Round Rock

(KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets)
(KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A new year means no more red light cameras in Round Rock. In October, city council members voted to end the program that put ten cameras throughout the city.

“There are no provisions if someone doesn’t pay a red light camera violation, it’s a civil matter,” explains Sgt. Justin Davis, traffic supervisor with the Round Rock Police Department.

Because a camera violation is civil, the city can’t force you to pay the $75 fine. Another reason the city is taking down the cameras is because drivers are still running red lights.

Now that the cameras are coming down, police officers say if they have a lot of accidents at a busy intersection, they’ll step up patrols. If an officer catches you running a red line, the fine increases to $207, it’s now a criminal matter.

“It’s kind of like a scare tactic, they start behaving I guess.”

Wyatt Foust says the cameras make him more cautious on the road, but he doesn’t believe they work for everyone.

“If they’re going to (run a red light), they’re going to do it. It could be anywhere from, the status of the driver, they could be drinking or not paying attention,” says Wyatt.

Police say the goal of these cameras wasn’t to collect money, but to keep drivers safe.

“When you take the chance of running a red light, you put a lot of people in danger and it’s a tragic event if someone has a crash at an intersection,” says Sgt. Davis.

Now it’ll be up to police to catch drivers in the act. The red light camera program in Round Rock ends on Dec. 31.

While Round Rock is dropping their red light cameras, other Central Texas cities are keeping them. The City of Austin says crashes have dropped at many of the intersections where cameras were installed.The city brought in about $790,000 last year in tickets. Bastrop, Elgin, and Hutto also have cameras. The City of Hutto has two red light cameras. For 2015, they’ve issued 4,326 citations. Police say about 77 percent of those violations have been paid.

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