City looks to raise red light camera fines

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Cameras across the city are waiting for motorists to mow through an intersection.

"You actually see your face and you see your tag, and yeah, you definitely get a ticket," said one driver.

Those tickets land drivers with a $50 fine.

But all that could change.

City leaders are considering a plan that would give the green light to a $20 increase, making the penalty for red light runners stand at $70.

"It's not about the money.  It's about trying to do something proactively to reduce accidents," explained Mayor Todd Strange.

There's also another reason.

New legislation now requires camera companies to send notices by certified mail, which costs $7.50 more per ticket.

Under the new rates, the company would earn $41 and the City of Montgomery picks up $29.

"If we just added 7 to the original number, then the percentage gets all out of whack, so that's why both sides of the equation were increased," Strange said.

Though finances are tight as it is, residents say the 40% increase may keep reckless drivers on their toes.

"If you don't want to get a ticket, you need to follow the rules of the stop light and don't be in such a rush that you have to go through them," said Karen Johnson of Montgomery.

"Well, I suggest that everyone stop at yellow lights. That's my suggestion, explained Jonathan Cox, also of Montgomery.

Tuesday, the City Council tried to suspend the rules and vote on the increase, but Councilman Willie Cook declined to allow a unanimous vote.

Cook says he'd like to give the public time to address the proposed changes. The measure will come up again on July 21st.

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