The debate over red-light cameras is back in middle Tennessee, and that’s because leaders in one city are looking to get rid of the cameras.
Gallatin wants out of its contract with its camera provider, four years early. The city’s mayor says, she’s felt this way a long time and has the public’s support.
If you ask ‘Reader’s Digest’ they’d tell you Gallatin is the nicest place in America, it earned that distinction in 2017. If you ask a visitor to town, caught on camera and ticketed for running a red light, you may get a different response.
“You can’t ticket cars, it’s people who commit moving violations,” says Gallatin Mayor, Paige Brown.
Brown wants to rid the red-light cams from city intersections. She says they create a bad image for the city, don’t allow for due process and they make drivers uncomfortable.
“You should have a right to appeal, a person to contact, a court to go to,” Brown believes.
Enforcement of payment is a problem too, and it doesn’t help for perception when state lawmakers light their tickets on fire, like Rep. Andy Holt did, in 2016.
Not paying the red light fine will not hurt your credit score or create a criminal record. In Gallatin, people aren’t paying them, and the city doesn’t have the power to make them.
That means less revenue, but more frustration.
“I feel like if the red-light cameras were such a wonderful creation, cities everywhere would have them, and you’d see them increasing in popularity instead of decreasing,” says Brown.
Data does support a better safety record at some intersections, but brown says that can also be attributed to improved traffic flow.