Arkansas lawmakers weighing idea of red light cameras

Lawmakers weighing idea of red light cameras

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Lawmakers want to study whether or not red light cameras would make Arkansas roadways safer.

When it comes to installing red light cameras drivers like Jason Hatchett have mixed reactions.

"It's just easier to follow the law than to get around the system," Hatchett said.

Arkansas lawmakers are considering a proposal to install cameras at traffic signals, to catch drivers who run the red light. State Rep. Justin Boyd said that under the current law municipalities are not allowed to use traffic signal cameras to regulate traffic. Boyd is one of the lawmakers pushing for a study.

"This would be something new to the state of Arkansas, so I would say we need to go into it with even more caution," Boyd said. "Use them for ticket violations or such to help ensure better traffic flow."

A similar bill failed back in 2013, but Boyd believes the issue needs to be looked at again. Red light cameras are part of a growing array of automated traffic enforcement devices.  Boyd said proponents claim the devices would allow municipalities to monitor roadways at a lower cost and reduce the number of accidents.

"The literature available seems to show that there is a reduction in side collisions, there's a reduction in overall collisions, there's a reduction in fatalities, but there is an uptick in rear-end collisions," he said.

Critics say they invade privacy and are used to raise cash for local governments. That study would be conducted in the next six months to be ready for the legislative session.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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