Columbia red light cameras reduce crashes

City Leaders in Washington, Missouri are pulling the plug on red light cameras.

Council Members in the eastern Missouri town voted to stop using the cameras at 2 major intersections because the devices did not significantly reduce the number of wrecks.

Columbia City Leaders said they have no plans to get rid of their red light cameras after putting together a new study.

Columbia TMs new report shows 5 red light cameras at several intersections are reducing the amount of Columbia TMs red light runners.

While Washington, Missouri City Officials say goodbye to red light cameras, Columbia City Leaders want to install 11 more cameras at busy intersections. Right now, Columbia TMs 5 red light cameras have been working for about a year.

Columbia Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said, We are showing that accidents have actually decreased overall at those five intersections by about 10.5% over the last year which we think is pretty significant.

A company named GATSO is the provider of Columbia TMs red light cameras. GATSO installs, operates and maintains the cameras. GATSO gets $44 of every $120 fine paid by red light runners. The city keeps the rest. After expenses, the city made a profit of about $18,000 during the first year of operations.

St. Romaine said, It TMs almost a break even proposition. We have enough money in there to basically cover our own costs. That was our whole intent over the program. It was not to create a big windfall for the city in terms of red lights, but to try to create awareness among the part of the public that red light running is dangerous and create serious accidents. The pure intent of this program is purely, traffic safety.

MoDOT Officials have prohibited the installation of any additional red light cameras in Columbia until they conduct their own red light camera study. That study should be finished within the next couple of months.

Columbia City Leaders say the main purpose of their red light cameras is not to make money, but to improve safety.