Tulsa Red Light Runners Could Soon Be Caught On Camera
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa city council started a conversation Thursday about using cameras to catch red-light runners. It's always been considered legally off limits, but that may not be the case.
There are no red light cameras anywhere in Oklahoma, but they could be coming. The city has to determine if it's even possible and, so far, they believe it is.
What's called photo enforcement is a way for cities to catch people running red lights without adding officers, and that's one of the key reasons behind the discussion.
Councilor G.T. Bynum believes Tulsa should at least discuss the idea, but only after he gets a city attorney's opinion on whether or not they're legal.
"And so we pulled the law, or tried to pull the law that says we can't do this and it turns out we could find it, there is no law that says we can't but on other hand there is no law that says we can," Bynum said.
In the United States, 495 communities use cameras at intersections to photograph cars running red lights.
The ticket goes to the person who registered the car, not necessarily the driver; that's one of the legal questions that has to be resolved in Tulsa.
Here, red lights are on the honor system unless an officer happens to be watching.
The fine for running the light is $200.
The cost of a collision is much higher and traffic deaths happen almost as often as homicides in Tulsa.
"This is one of those things that we could be more proactive, we could be saving lives and preventing accidents without hiring a bunch of people simply by deploying technology that's already being used in cities around the country," Bynum said.
The next step is that official legal opinion. Bynum said that will either kill the discussion or start the debate of whether or not Tulsa should use them.