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Revenue from red light camera violations

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Large sums of money have been entering Amarillo's economy from red light camera violations.

Those running red lights are facing $75 fines. Cameras have been in place throughout the past five years and with more approved this week, more revenue is on the way.

Amarillo City Commissioner Brian Eades says close to a million dollars is being collected every year. After deducting camera expenses, he says, "We have to share with the state. And then what is left over we're able to use, but it has to be for traffic safety."

More than a million dollars has been used for improving crosswalks, stop lights, and intersections. One example, building a pedestrian crossing between Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and Northwest Texas Hospital. Amarillo Mayor Paul Harpole says, "We put in a crosswalk that has a special light. There's no intersection there. But it allows people passing between those two entities to do it safely. "

Other instances, Eades says, "To provide those flood gates on 3rd street and 10th street, where people keep getting stuck during a big rain. And it was involved in the cell phone ban, when it was initially just in school crossings."

Eades says a lot of these projects have to be done anyway. He says, "So that just frees up other money that the city could be able to do other things. "

Mayor Harpole says the cameras are not costing residents money, not through taxes nor fees. The city's paying for the cameras with revenue from the tickets.

The intersections where red light cameras have been placed have shown about 40,000 fewer violations since they were first installed.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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