City talking about extending red light program

Created: 06/10/2014 6:12 PM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

Red light cameras are in different areas around the city. They were put up as a way to catch drivers running red lights. Many people believe it is another way for the city to get money. Now the city is talking about extending the red light program and adding more cameras.

The mayor says red light cameras, like the one at the intersection of Driving Park and Lake Avenues, have lessened the number of accidents. Many are not happy to hear that the city is pushing forward to be able to continue the use of these automated watchdogs.

Leslie Smith was at the Red Light Ticket Payment Center Tuesday. Smith says she got a red light ticket in the mail from a day when the roads were icy and she slid halfway through a light driving downhill.

Leslie Smith said, “My brake lights were breaking and I stopped, but I still went through.”

Even so, she says it wasn't her fault and it wasn't intentional.

Smith said, “It seemed like I ran the light, but I didn't.  I didn't break any rules, I didn't break the law.”

Despite the protests from many drivers like Smith, on Tuesday, the city formally asked the state for the authorization to extend its use of red light cameras. Mayor Lovely Warren says she's aware of why people are against them, but ultimately, she argues that they keep people safe.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, “We have a law where you should not run red lights and it's really about safety. If we can stop an accident and stop someone from getting hurt, then that is a way for us to do that.”

Attorney Lawrence Krieger doesn't buy it. Krieger said that he has been standing strongly against the cameras, saying this is just a tax on driving in the city. Krieger feels the city's moving forward only to make millions. Either way, Smith says she'll at least try to fight her ticket.

Smith said, “I don't know what I can do about it, but I don't think it's fair.”

The city says it collected $2.3 million dollars from January 2013 through this past April.

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