ROUND ROCK, Texas – Do red light cameras affect the way you drive? For most people, the cameras make a difference.
A Texas Transportation Institute study found red light related crashes dropped by 25 percent when there's automated enforcement. Those safety statistics are part of the reason why the City of Round Rock opted for the technology.
Currently, six red light cameras are in use across the city. Three more will go live Wednesday. One will be at RM 620 and Deep Wood Drive and two for each direction at RM 620 and I-35.
"I think they're a good idea because I've seen too many people run through red lights," said Round Rock driver Milly.
So just how effective are the red light cameras? The majority of the ones in Round Rock have been live for just a little over a month. Still, city officials say they are noticing a difference.
The first camera went up at Red Bud Lane and Forest Creek Drive on December 14, 2011. That month, 61 citations were issued, followed by 118 in January, 117 in February, and 144 in March. In April, there was a change; only 84 citations were issued.
“So that's a pretty significant drop, but one month of data does not a trend make. But it's encouraging to see that number start to come down," said Round Rock Communications Director Will Hampton.
One thing is for sure -- the cameras are catching red light runners, especially on Highway 79. Three cameras went live on the highway April 2. In one month, 389 citations were issued at the intersection of A. W. Grimes Boulevard, 314 at Mays Street, and 62 at Sunrise Road.
Like them or not, many drivers say installing cameras to catch bad behavior is a growing trend.
“And then later they’re going to have cameras for speeding. They’re going to have cameras for everything else you do on the highway. That’s the wave of the future,” said driver Robert Spellings.
Ignoring the camera could get you a $75 ticket. There is also a $25 late fee for not paying within 30 days.
Still, the City says the cameras are not money makers for the city. The company that installed them, Redflex Traffic Systems, paid all the start-up costs to install the cameras, totaling $35,000 for the equipment and $4,200 a month to operate them. The money from the citations first goes to Redflex Traffic System. What’s left over is split 50-50 between the state and the City of Round Rock for traffic safety programs.