Local News

Some Blame Recent Wrecks On Traffic Cameras

Posted July 25, 2001

— They are designed to make red light runners think twice before breaking the law. But some motorists blame traffic light cameras for doing more harm than good.

For the third time in less than two months, a vehicle has crashed into the light pole right at the intersection of Martin Luther King Freeway and Ramsey Street.

First it was an overturned dump truck, then a jackknifed tractor-trailer. Tuesday, a red Mustang was the latest vehicle to plow into the light pole at the intersection.

Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin installed a traffic camera to catch drivers who run the red light.

According to tow truck operator J.R. Wilkins, the cameras are causing crashes all over the city.

"At Skibo and Yadkin roads, there's been a lot of rear-end accidents over there and I believe all of it is contributing to those cameras and traffic lights," he says.

Officer Matthew Dow says it is not the cameras, but the drivers who fail to follow the 55 mph speed limit.

Police say instead of drivers making their turn as they approach Ramsey Street, they lose control and end up hitting the light pole instead.

"If you're not cognizant of how fast you're going, and you're trying to negotiate that that turn at 45 to 50 miles per hour, you're not going to make it," says Dow.

There is some proof that the traffic cameras may actually be working.

Out of 96 wrecks in Fayetteville last month, police say less than 10 percent of them happened at intersections with traffic cameras.

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