Gov. Abbott could force Fort Worth to remove red light cameras

Governor Greg Abbott has stepped in with his opinion regarding the battle over red light cameras.

On his personal account on Monday, he tweeted he thinks it's time to do away with red light cameras. He cited a study suggesting the cameras don't always curb crashes.

However, the city of Fort Worth says it's seen much different results. As Fort Worth began seeing other cities get rid of red light cameras, it changed its contract to say the program will exist as long as the state doesn't ban it. Now, that's a possibility.

Richard Martinez with the Fort Worth Transportation Department says the 58 red light cameras at 44 different intersections in Fort Worth have gotten criticism. But, hey says they have saved lives.

"And we have seen our accident rates reduced by 43 percent over the time that we've had these cameras up in the intersections,” he said.

Getting rid of the much debated red light cameras just got the green light from Governor Greg Abbott. He tweeted "more and more I think it's time to do away with red light cameras in Texas."

Abbott referenced a study by various university professors done last year that concluded red light cameras don't necessarily make intersections safer.

Arlington got rid of its red light cameras three years ago after voters spoke up.

Tarrant County refused to pursue civil penalties for anyone who didn't pay their red light camera fines. Similar efforts to ban the cameras state wide have stalled out in the legislature. But already, some lawmakers are backing the idea before next year's session.

Fort Worth's cameras have generated nearly $ 9 million in revenue in the 10 years they've been in place. For now, they don't have plans of adding any more.

“If the state's looking at doing that, we’ll work with the state,” Martinez said.

Regarding the study showing red lights aren't safer, Fort Worth says it also pays attention to that info and will evaluate their system to see if they need to change anything.

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