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Westminster Deactivating Most Red Light Cameras On Concerns They’re Causing Accidents

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WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ)– Westminster is putting a stop to most of their red light cameras. Police say they may have been causing more accidents than they were preventing.

Andrea Fujii has the story.

After more than two years, the red light cameras at Route 97 and Route 140 in Westminster have been turned off. The City Council voted Monday to deactivate them.

“These cameras were not in a break-even mode. They were literally costing the city taxpayers money,” Chief Jeff Spaulding of the Westminster Police Department said.

They were meant to make the intersection safer and generate revenue, but police say they did neither.

In the two years they’ve been up, police say there were 11 serious crashes and 35 fender benders.

“These numbers are not characteristic of red light programs,” Spaulding said.

In 2010, the city installed five red light cameras. And within the year, they took down two. And now they’ve shut off two more because of a low number of citations and high number of collisions.

Drivers have mixed feelings about the decision.

“I’m not saying I’m going to run a red light, but if I’m late, I’m going to do what it takes to get to school,” Zach Jacobs said.

“I know a lot of people probably run the red lights. As soon as it turns yellow, they try to go. So guess it’s probably better if they have them,” Chris Jones said.

The one remaining camera is at 97th and Nursery Road, the only one police say is working like it should.

Police tell WJZ that there are no plans to add any more red light cameras.

It costs the City of Westminster more than $2,200 a month to operate a red light camera.

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