Arlington public to debate red light camera ban

Arlington residents voiced their opinions about the vote on banning red light cameras in Arlington on Feb. 10 at City Hall.

The Arlington public will have a chance to hear both sides of the story behind Arlington red light cameras Thursday.

The Arlington Republican Club will host a discussion about red light cameras between Arlington City Council member Charlie Parker and Faith Bussey, president of Citizens for a Better Arlington. The event will start at 7 p.m. at Humperdinks Restaurant and Brewpub, located at 700 Six Flags Drive. Parker opposes doing away with the red light cameras, and Bussey’s organization headed a petition to remove them.

Arlington residents will have the chance to vote for or against a ban on red light cameras in the city during the May 9 city elections.

“We want people to hear both sides so they can make an educated decision,” said Anne Cocker, president of Arlington Republican Club. “We felt people don‘t know why there is such a controversy about them.”

Those attending the discussion will be able to fill out question cards before the event with any questions they want Parker or Bussey to answer, Cocker said. Before the speakers start to answer questions, they will each have a four-minute opening statement, followed by a one-minute response by their opponent. Cocker said the Arlington Republican Club is expecting 70 to 120 attendees.

Cocker said students should attend the discussion to learn what is happening in their local community. The petition is an example of how someone can get involved in local government and make a change, she said.

“This shows that if you have a cause and good reason, you can actually effect change or at least be heard,” Cocker said.

Arlington has 23 red light cameras. When one of the cameras catches a driver in a red light violation, the ticket is mailed to the registered vehicle owner with a $75 fine. The offenses are civil violations, not criminal, so a warrant can’t be issued if the fine goes unpaid. The nonpayment of the ticket also does not go on the driver’s credit, because according to the Texas Transportation Code, local authorities can’t provide information about a civil penalty. The only incentive for violators to pay their ticket is they have to renew their vehicle registration in person.

@kathryncargo

kathryn.cargo@mavs.uta.edu

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