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November 27, 2012ROSWELL, Ga. – After nearly five years, Roswell is ending its use of red light traffic cameras.
Council and the city decided not to renew the contract with American Traffic Solutions. The cameras will stop working by the end of the year.
"Of all the accidents in Roswell, only 2.78 percent are from running red lights," said Roswell Transportation Director Steve Acenbrak. "It's such a small percentage, the crash reduction doesn't justify the cameras."
Roswell has had six red light cameras in operation for the past five years, since 2007, at Ga. 9 and Holcomb Bridge Road and Ga. 9 and Mansell Road. In that time, the city has seen an annual decrease in the amount of money collected. Only in the past two years has revenue actually fallen below expenses. In 2010, the cameras cost the city $1,893 and in 2011 they cost $24,052. In 2007, the first full year of operation, the city banked more than $800,000.
Until now, city officials have staunchly defended the cameras as not only saving lives from accidents but from changing driver behavior to stop people running red lights. As recently as six months ago, the city was considering moving the cameras to other locations. Indeed, if there is a silver lining to the falling numbers it is that they are steadily falling; implying less people are running the red lights.
City Councilwoman Betty Price said a number of factors went into the declining numbers of citations.
"Legislation was passed to add an extra second to lights [that featured cameras]," Price said. The second was added to the yellow light, to give more time for drivers to stop. She added that improvements to the intersections themselves also may have helped, as Ga. 9 and Holcomb Bridge Road had significant improvements last year. However, the declining numbers of tickets also mean less people are running those lights, which is still a good thing, Price said.
"If people have to be better drivers, that's an improvement."