published Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Red Bank to consider doing away with speed cameras

Poll
Should Red Bank remove speed cameras?

Red Bank may be hitting the brakes on its speed-detecting cameras.

Seven years after Red Bank commissioners voted to install the devices, the mayor wants to do away with the controversial law-enforcement tool.

A vote to end the contract with the traffic camera company has been set for the Red Bank Commission meeting on Sept. 4.

"I have had over 100 conversations with residents and business owners, all who say that the cameras are hurting the city," said Mayor Monty Millard, who has staunchly opposed the speed cameras since their 2005 installation. "People are avoiding driving through here because they're afraid of getting a ticket."

The cameras are currently set up at three intersections on Dayton Boulevard: Morrison Springs Road, Signal Mountain Road and Ashland Terrace.

In 2010, Millard was the only commissioner of five to vote against a 12-year contract extension with American Traffic Solutions, the Arizona-based company that provided the city's cameras.

Two of the commissioners who voted to extend the contract -- Floy Pierce and Ruth Jeno -- still are on the commission. Millard and Pierce are up for re-election this November.

According to the contract between Red Bank and American Traffic, either party can sever the contract without financial penalty on each three-year anniversary of its signing. The first anniversary is this January, but city officials are required to give the company 90 days notice of their decision.

During the 2008-09 fiscal year, Red Bank collected more than $579,000 from tickets issued from the cameras. American Traffic collects between 40 to 60 percent of the cameras' revenues each month, according to newspaper archives.

Millard said revenues have dropped significantly since the Tennessee General Assembly ruled in 2011 that the cameras could not cite motorists for failing to come to a complete stop before right turns.

The most recent revenue figures were unavailable Wednesday.

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