Drivers Question Council's Motive for More Traffic Cameras

Drivers Question Council's Motive for More Traffic Cameras

Memphis City Council members want more red light cameras in the city as soon as possible. They say it has nothing to do with helping the city get money, possibly as much as $29 million. But a lot of you say, of course it is.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Memphis City Council members want more red light cameras in the city as soon as possible. In Tuesday night's marathon budget meeting, the group voted in favor of putting about two dozen cameras out in the city.

They say it has nothing to do with helping the city get money, possibly as much as $29 million. But a lot of you say, of course it is.

City Council Chairman Ed Ford, Jr. said the issue isn't the money going to the city from tickets, it's public safety.

"Public safety is the core value that you're trying to preserve," he said. "Put it in that perspective, don't look at it as this just a way we can generate money."

Some drivers we talked with don't even think they help with public safety.

"It makes you want to hurry up and pass it instead of slowing down," said driver Ben Clanton. "It's that in between part when you're coming up and it's a yellow light and you want to hurry up and get through it before it takes your picture."

City council members were told new cameras could pump close to $30 million into the city's bank account. Legally, however, they couldn't say the issue was for money; it had to be for public safety.

There's another issue that comes up. All these cameras throughout the city recording what you do, your license plate number, the kind of car you drive, where you were, what time you were there, "It's an issue that puts privacy against security and that's a big issue in this world today," noted driver John Ruff.

But in a cash-strapped city like Memphis, others say any money raised to keep the tax rate down might be a good thing.

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