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Red Light Cameras: Will They Improve Safety?

Photo by Steve Bell
Police Major Philip Lawler explains red light cameras at a public hearing.

By Steve Bell

Kansas City, MO – Curbing speeders and red-light runners is a top concern of Kansas Citians as reflected by calls to the mayor's office. A task force will make its recommendation this month on whether the city should start using automatic cameras at selected intersections to apprehend red-light violators. The cameras would probably leased from a provider for a percentage of the fines collected. But there is controversy over whether the cameras will actually reduce accidents and traffic light violations, or whether they will give city officials a false sense of security while increasing rear-end collisions at intersections. Some opponents say the city should forget the cameras and put more police officers on the street, but both council and police board members say that cost bould be prohibitive.

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