This week, the City of Longview installed surveillance cameras to catch red light runners. Lufkin is getting ready to do the same by late next month, getting 11 stop light cameras. With those two East Texas cities doing this, we wondered, is the City of Tyler considering the same? For now, the answer is no.
KLTV 7 News caught on camera more than a dozen drivers run the red light in a matter of 10 minutes. It's something that worries some Tyler residents. "It upsets me because I know there's a potential for a serious wreck or someone getting hurt," said Peter Blakeman, a concerned resident.
According to the Tyler Police Department, there were close to 4,200 collisions in the city last year. Three percent of those, or close to 140, were caused by people running red lights.
Chief Gary Swindle says officers aggressively pursue red light violators. "We issued last year over 1,500 citations to people running red lights," said Swindle.
Chief Swindle says having cameras at the red lights would be a huge asset, but for the time being, there are no plans to install them. He says pending legislation in Austin could potentially affect the way red light cameras are used by the city. "It just depends on what comes out of the state and then once we have a good feel for how it's going to react, we'll look into installation of red light cameras in Tyler," said Swindle.
If passed, Senate Bill 1119 would establish a city's authority to install these kind of stop light camera systems. So, if it does not pass, the cameras could become illegal. Swindle says red light violators face a fine of $250.