Upcoming public hearing on red light cameras for Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo Common Council member wants to put a stop to hit and runs in the city.

Since May, there have been five hit and runs in the City of Buffalo.

University District Councilman Rasheed Wyatt is proposing red light cameras be installed as a solution to prevent further tragedies.

“Residents have been urging us to do something because our streets aren’t really safe for pedestrians. We need something to help curb our motorists behaviors to save lives. We don’t have enough police officers, traffic officers to be at every corner,” said Wyatt.

The red light cameras would run continually recording license plate numbers, driver images and calculate speed. If a driver goes through a red light, they will get a ticket in the mail.

‘It was something that we have been looking at for a while, the hit and runs I think escalated it even more,” said Wyatt.

Cities across the state already use red light cameras. Rochester had them for a number of years, but recently got rid of them after public outcry and high cost citations.

In Buffalo, people have mixed reactions.

“Everybody keeps bumping somebody and then it keeps going. The camera’s will make them have to stop and report it to their insurance company,” said Larry Carson, resident in favor of the proposal.

“My problem with them is that they actually cause in my opinion more traffic collisions. I’m not really for it,” said Varnel Floeurisma, resident.

Some criticize the camera’s for being a money grabbing tool since it will generate revenue for the city. Wyatt says that’s not the case.

“It’s absolutely not, it’s about public safety, clearly,” said Wyatt.

Installing the red light cameras will not cost taxpayers. A company will install them for free, however, the company will receive a percentage of the ticket fines and the city will receive the remaining amount.

To get more information about the proposal for red light cameras, there will be a public hearing on Thursday in the council chambers at 11 am.

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