GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The Greenville community is speaking out as the city’s red light camera program is coming to an end.
“I think they’re the worst things ever, especially because the lights in Greenville last like three seconds so if you’re trying to turn left or something on a green arrow, you really don’t have any time to go so if you try to make the yellow, you get a red-light ticket,” Greenville resident Jaidyn Haswell said.
Though some like Haswell may believe the traffic lights are not green for a long enough period of time, Greenville city spokesperson Brock Letchworth says the timing on the lights has always been the same.
“Nothing different than prior to the installation of the cameras,” Letchworth said. “Again, the city made no money off of this so there was no reason for the city to do anything like that.”
Though the red light camera program is coming to an end, Letchworth says there is clear evidence that crashes were reduced during the program’s time of operation.
“They reduced crashes at the intersections they were located at by almost 30% during the time they were there, whereas we saw other locations throughout the city, other intersections where crashes increased almost 10%,” Letchworth said. “It’s pretty evident that the cameras were effective over time.”
Still, people like Greenville resident Ellyn Blow will be glad when they’re gone.
“I understand it can prevent accidents but it doesn’t actually prevent accidents because you have to slam on breaks and if you can’t slam on the breaks fast enough, you can still cause an accident,” Blow said.
Though many believe the appeals court’s ruling that not enough money was going to Pitt County Schools is the reason for the end of the program, Letchworth says that is untrue.
State law says 90% of all fines must go to the school system, while Pitt County Schools got only 72% during a two-year period.
Letchworth reminds everyone that the court ruling did not say the cameras are illegal for the City of Greenville to have, as the red light camera program would have continued had the city council voted not to end it at its expiration date.
State law requires that 90% of all fines must go to the school system. However, Pitt County Schools say they cannot comment on the red light camera program as there is pending litigation regarding the topic.
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