Memphis revisits speed camera plan

Memphis revisits speed camera plan

(WMC-TV) – The City of Memphis is revisiting the plan to place speed detectors at various points throughout town. This discussion comes about one year after they added red light cameras to high-risk intersections.

A city council proposal to install speed cameras around Memphis failed in the past. But now the city is spear-heading a campaign to bring the concept back. They say it is about safety, not money.

So far, Carmen Weaver has a squeaky clean driving record but she is not sold on the idea to trade in handheld radar guns for electronic speed cameras.

"Am I going to get a ticket when he [husband] was driving or is he going to get a ticket when I was driving? I just think there's a lot that needs to be thought about," said Weaver.

Memphis Chief Administrative Officer George Little confirms the city is resurrecting the idea to install speed cameras around the city.

"The first objective is safer streets or intersections. That's the first priority," said Little.

The second objective is freeing up officers.

"We think the officer time could be better spent in direct enforcement fighting crime as opposed to writing traffic citations," he explained.

Some argue it is just a money grab by a cash-strapped city.

Little says the city has two budgets: Capital and General.

This speed camera would benefit the budget that is in good standing.

"For public safety-related purposes, it's a dedicated revenue stream. The challenges we face are with our general budget, not necessarily on those areas," said Little.

The city will consider either updating 25 red light cameras and add five additional speed cameras, set up mobile speed cameras, or mount them in patrol cars.

"We're looking at high-risk and high-traffic areas like school zones, around playgrounds. Intersections or thoroughfares where we've got a lot of accidents or where recent data indicates people tend to speed," Little explained.

The city is now figuring out how much the cameras would cost to install, and how much money it would bring into the city.

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