Red light camera bill gets House OK
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Legislation that will allow the City of Greenville to share proceeds from red light camera fines is advancing to the Senate following the House’s adoption of the bill Monday night.
The House voted 74-26 to approve House Bill 1126, said Rep. Greg Murphy, R-Pitt. Pitt County’s other representatives — Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson, and Susan Martin, R-Wilson — joined Murphy in voting for the legislation.
The City of Greenville wants to install cameras that will capture images of vehicles running red lights at the intersections of Charles Boulevard and 14th Street, Charles Boulevard and Fire Tower Road, Arlington Boulevard and Fire Tower Road, Arlington Boulevard and Greenville Boulevard and Arlington Boulevard and South Memorial Drive.
It is believed the tickets issued from the images will discourage motorists from running red lights.
The city previously tried to use red light cameras to enforce traffic rules, funding the system with revenues it produced. However, an N.C. Supreme Court ruling declared all fines from traffic tickets had to be given to the school system as required by the state Constitution.
In 2014, the General Assembly passed legislation allowing law enforcement agencies to make arrangements with local school boards to share ticket revenue if the request is approved by the General Assembly.
The Greenville City Council, Pitt County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education approved resolutions this spring supporting the plan.
The legislation will allow the city council to raise the fine for running a red light from $50 to $100. The school board will then return half of the proceeds to the police department.
The revenue coming back to the department is expected to fully fund the red light program’s cost, estimated to be about $52,200 a month.
During a May public hearing before the school board, Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman said red light camera programs often reduce the instances of T-bone wrecks but increase the number of rear-end wrecks.
However, he said rear-end wrecks produce fewer serious injuries than T-bone wrecks.
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