Some Say Speed Cameras Are A Safety Hazard

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(Memphis)  Like it or not, speed cameras in school zones are coming.

The Memphis City Council approved the installation of 150 of them over the next few months but not everybody agrees it will help raise money or increase safety.

Councilman Myron Lowery says the cameras aren't about balancing the budget, “The main goal for this is safety.”

He says they will go a long way in protecting our children, “Safety will improve for all of our citizens.”

Some question the City's motive.

“Do you think it’s just a way for them just to make money?” asked Reporter Sabrina Hall.

“Yes. Definitely,” said Brook Childers, a Memphis resident.

Others wonder if speed cameras in Memphis are even a good idea at all.

In 2011, Los Angeles ended their eleven-year speed camera program after studies showed the city actually lost money. Not only that, studies found drivers were getting into more crashes, rear-end accidents, from slowing down in the camera zones.

Increased accidents is also why Mississippi banned both red light and speed cameras across the state in 2009.  Prior to that, eight other states, including Wisconsin and Arkansas, did the same.

“That is some cities. I am talking about Memphis,” said Lowery.

Lowery is convinced speed cameras will be different here, encouraging safe driving while raising money for the City, paid by law breakers not taxpayers.

“I say don`t speed and don`t run a red light and you won`t get a ticket,” said Lowery.

Even speeders say the cameras may have an impact in school zones.

“I have had a lot of speeding tickets in my day,” said Childers.  “It does help people to slow down and obey the traffic laws for sure.”

The cameras are not expected to be installed for at least 90 to 120 days. Lowery says there will be signgs put-up in the areas where the cameras are in place.