GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Greenville’s Red Light Safety Camera Program will come to an end this week. City Council voted 5-1 to end the program during Monday’s meeting.
Greenville’s red-light camera program was ruled unconstitutional back in March because too little of the money it generates through penalties ends up with the local school system, the state Court of Appeals ruled. Only council member Rick Smiley, who represents District 4, voted to continue the program.
In a media release from the city of Greenville, officials said the council “authorized the City Manager to negotiate a wind-down agreement with American Traffic Solutions, Inc., an agreement that will include finalizing the processing of citations, collection of equipment, and exchanging of records.”
No citations will be issued as of Nov. 15. The cameras will be deactivated at that time. They have been operational since the program began in October 2017. They were installed as a way to increase traffic safety by reducing red-light running violations.
City officials said vehicle crashes at the intersections where the red lights were installed went down by 29 percent.
An appellate panel decided unanimously back in March that Greenville’s funding framework violates the state constitution’s directive that the “clear proceeds” of all fines collected must be “used exclusively for maintaining free public schools.”
The city contracted in 2017 with American Traffic Solutions of Arizona to install and operate the red-light cameras. Motorists photographed driving through red lights receive citations and face a $100 penalty. Two motorists who were cited sued the city and the Pitt County Board of Education, which ultimately gets the proceeds.
Roughly 20 North Carolina towns and cities have been authorized by the legislature to operate similar traffic-control photograph programs. The General Assembly authorized the first such program in 1997.