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Red-light cameras by the numbers

By Jo Lee Ferguson answerline@news-journal.com
Jan. 17, 2014 at 11 p.m.


<strong>QUESTION:</strong> How can one find out how many traffic citations and, specifically what kind, are issued annually or monthly, and what months are the busiest, at any given photo enforced intersection in Longview?

<strong>ANSWER:</strong> This information is a public record, which you can request from the Longview Police Department. I asked for and received the most recent data, and I'll address your question as best I can in the space Answer Line has. Since Longview introduced what you call photo enforced enforcement intersections in 2007, they've been not-so-affectionally called "red-light cameras." That answers the question about what types of traffic citations are issued as a result of camera activity - citations for running red lights.

At the end of the 2013 calendar year, the city of Longview had 12 red-light cameras. Combined, there were 25,206 citations issued for running red lights at those intersections as a result of the cameras. The busiest intersection for camera activity was at Loop 281 and Fourth Street, where there were 8,598 citations issued in the 2013 calendar year. Within that, the busiest month was April, when there were 864 citations issued.

Here are the rest of the intersections, with their total red-light camera citations and how many months they were in operation, along with their busiest month. (Some cameras might have been taken down for road construction, for instance, and so were not in operation all year):

Mobberly/Cotton: 12-month total of 1,541; 520 citations in September

Judson/Hollybrook: 12 month total of 982; 147 in September

H.G. Mosley/Marshall: 12-month total of 1,186; 116 in January

Spur 63/Marshall: 12-month total of 948; 116 in December

East Hawkins/Fourth: 10-month total of 1,232; 184 in August

McCann/H.G. Mosley (northbound): seven-month total of 1,121; 233 in January

McCann/H.G. Mosley (southbound): seven month-total of 1,106; 223 in January

South Eastman/Access: 12-month total of 2,526; 304 in March

Bill Owens/Loop 281 (northbound): 12-month total of 1,361; 145 in April

Bill Owens/Loop 281 (eastbound): 12-month total of 3,616; 458 in April

Estes Parkway/Estes Drive: six month total of 989; 206 in November

The city of Longview contracts with Redflex Traffic Systems to provide the cameras. The city was in a cost-neutrality agreement with the company until February 2013, when the city started making money from use of the cameras.

Longview police reported that for the 2013 fiscal year, net revenue after paying Redflex was $274,724, but half of that went to the Texas Comptroller's Office to help fund the Regional Trauma Account. (Redflex receives $4,870 per month per light, as well as an approximately $1,500 per month fee to cover administrative and credit card fees.)

Longview's portion of the money will help pay for pedestrian and public safety programs, intersection improvements and traffic enforcement, the city previously reported.

<p style="text-align: center;">*

<strong>Q:</strong> I was wondering if you could tell us what happened to Katie Vossler, the weather lady who was on from 11 to 12 on KETK out of Tyler.

<strong>A:</strong> I'll tell you, but first, I need for all Answer Line readers to raise their right hands at this moment and swear that if I ever disappear from the pages of the News-Journal that you will call every local television station and ask them to tell you what happened to me. Promise. I think it's the only fair thing to do. (I wanted to print a smiley face here, but then I realized I'm not on social media.)

Anyway, Katie Vossler started her new job this week at KSAT Channel 12 in San Antonio. Here's what she told me in a Facebook message:

"I left KETK because I was offered an amazing opportunity to work for the No. 1 station in San Antonio, KSAT Channel 12. East Texas will always be my home, and I will continue to visit since my family is still there."

<em>- Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.</em>

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