Local News

Court Ruling Puts Rocky Mount Traffic Program In Jeopardy

Posted May 23, 2006

— A recent state court ruling on red light cameras could put the brakes on the entire program in Rocky Mount. The court said schools should get 90 percent of proceeds from tickets written after violations are caught on tape.

Rocky Mount's assistant Public Works director, Jonathan Boone, said currently $39 from each $50 ticket goes directly to the company that operates Rocky Mount's photo enforcement program. He said the rest goes toward other administrative costs just to keep it going.

"I would hate for this program to be a casualty of that ruling, but that indeed may be the case," said Boone.

Rocky Mount started using the technology in 2002. It now has cameras at five intersections. Last year, the city authorized about 4,500 citations, and Boone said it is working.

The city has a unique ally. Superintendent Rick McMahon said they are already working on a plan that would allow the city to pay all red light camera costs before giving any remaining monies to the schools. McMahon believes that with only five intersections covered, the schools would not profit much anyway.

The hope is to work out an agreement that will prevent the red light camera program from coming to a dead stop.

The red-light regulations have had different effects across the state. High Point, Greensboro and Greenville all suspended their programs last year. Charlotte is now considering doing the same.

Wilmington leaders agreed to keep their cameras running, but taxpayers will likely pick up much of the tab. There are no changes for Raleigh or Cary -- both already give the proceeds to the school system.


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