CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. (KTXL) — The Citrus Heights City Council will decide Thursday evening whether it will renew the city’s contract for red light cameras.
“The goal here is to reduce our collisions,” Citrus Heights Police Lieutenant Jason Baldwin said.
Baldwin says the red light photo enforcement program has been a part of the city for the past 14 years. There are currently 10 cameras in the city.
He’s hoping the city council will approve another contract for an additional five-years.
“Statistics show that there will be a 30% more increase in fatal collisions after a photo red light system has been removed,” he said.
Even though these cameras can catch drivers running red lights, Baldwin says the main problem is people speeding through the intersections.
Video provided by the police department shows drivers often speed through the red lights in the city. From narrowly missing a pedestrian to full-on collisions, the department says this is preventable.
“The goal here is to get people to slow down, pay attention to our signs,” Baldwin said. “Pay attention to the lights so that we don’t get into accidents and we do save lives.”
Police Chief Ronald Lawrence says without the cameras, he wouldn’t have the resources to keep an eye out for problem intersections that put drivers and pedestrians in danger.
“There’s no way, it’s impossible for me to have police officers at even most of the intersections. We would have violations going undetected daily,” he said.
While police hope the city keeps the cameras, feelings among drivers are mixed.
“I don’t really care for them. I feel like they kind of go off as you’re making a right hand turn, and you’re like, am I going to get a ticket? Am I not? You’re kind of just waiting,” driver Rick Medina said.
Others said the cameras are a warning to drivers.
“I would want them to stay,” driver Barbara Pallach said. “I think it is a caution to people.”