For over 2 years the red light cameras located at major intersections in Harlingen have been catching drivers ignoring traffic lights. Having those cameras in place has resulted in close to 100,000 traffic tickets, from March 2007 to December 2009.
But Wednesday night Harlingen city commissioners decided the cameras would be given the red light in a vote of 3 to 2.
I was very upset and disturbed, said Kori Marra City Commissioner for District 3. It seemed to be more important to be right last night and to win than to win a certain vote than the safety of the citizens of Harlingen." Marra was in favor of keeping the cameras and doesn TMt understand why the city would get rid of them.
As of our last quarter we were still down by like 50 percent of where it originally had started so there is no question that it was a blessing to the city of Harlingen, actually saving lives."
Decreasing the number of accidents isn TMt the only thing Marra said the cameras brought to the city, according to her; they were also revenue generators for the city.
The commissioner told Action 4 News the amount of money coming in and the revenue of tickets benefits trauma centers from McAllen to Brownsville.
She also denies rumors that they're too expensive to maintain and cause more accidents.
For Marra, another plus was that officers could stay on the streets to tackle bigger problems.
At 9 intersections in the city of Harlingen we had those manned by pretty much a computerized police officer 24-7 for people who are breaking the law anyway." Marra says she backed the decision to keep the cameras after a meeting with her district who were all in favor.
I represented my district properly last night, said the commissioner. I did what they told me and what they wished to have happen and I hope the other commissioners can feel the same way.
Despite Marra TMs objections the red light cameras must be taken down by the end of March.