City of Birmingham looking at automatic enforcement cameras amid increase in reckless and stunt driving
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham City Council is exploring new cameras in an effort to curb reckless and stunt driving across the city.
Birmingham City Council almost got a bill for automatic traffic enforcement passed by state officials this past legislative session, but it didn’t happen. Now, they revisited topic during this week’s council meeting and with the increase in reckless driving deaths across the city, they think new automated enforcement could help.
“We want to make sure we are actually working to keep the streets safer,” Council member Clinton Woods said. “We get a lot of complaints about speeding, running stop signs, and red lights. We get complaints about speed racing and exhibition driving.”
Woods said these cameras would be different from current traffic cameras in the city. Current cameras don’t issue tickets and are used by BPD in the Real Time Crime Center. Automated enforcement cameras can collect data and create hot spots where the reckless driving is happening. Based on those hotspots is where Woods said the cameras would be installed.
“We need to identify which vehicles are participating in the activity, so we can build the case moving forward,” Woods said. “What this will allow us to do is put consistent 24/7 enforcement to be able to identify where these things are taking place, where are people running red lights, and implement technology that is proven to reduce those infractions.”
He said the camera can automatically issue the driver a ticket.
“It’s tough to ask police to be in all these places at one time and be able to monitor these activities,” Woods said. “Giving them these tools and putting cameras in areas where we know it is happening frequently, just give us an edge.”
Woods said the cameras would not be at a cost for the city and help recover funds from city property that gets damaged during accidents.
“One of the things we wrote into the bill in Birmingham is no one would get a speeding ticket unless you were going 10 miles per hour over the speed limit,” Woods said. “So, we are not looking to create a revenue generator.”
Woods said this is a long term goal of the city. They are hoping for a legislative special session for the bill, but right now, it wont be until next year before it’s back in Montgomery.
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