Birmingham city leaders could consider traffic enforcement cameras

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham city leaders could soon consider traffic enforcement cameras, according to one city councilor.

District 1 Councilor Clinton Woods talked about the idea during the city’s governmental affairs committee meeting this week.

“Pretty consistent feedback in district one around speeding through neighborhoods, speeding around school zones, speeding on just a lot of our roadways and so people are very concerned about their safety,” said Woods.

Neighbors in Killough Springs have voiced concerns to city leaders in the past about speeding and aggressive drivers near Smith Middle School along busy 5 Mile Road.

Other neighbors would like traffic light installed as well, but believe the camera would also act as a deterrent.

“I think it would be beneficial to have a camera and a traffic light on five-mile road,” said Shonda Johnson, Secretary of the Killough Springs Neighborhood Association.

“Once the speeders are ticketed, I believe they will start to slow down, especially with this being a school zone,” said McNeal.

Councilor Woods told CBS 42 the full council is expected to hear the idea soon after support from the governmental affairs committee this week.

“It’s an automated speeding enforcement system, and so that’s red-light cameras, stop sign cameras, those are stationary speed detection devices,” said Woods.

The City of Birmingham would need permission from state lawmakers for a local bill to allow the cameras. Other cities like Center Point, Midfield, and Montgomery use similar devices after passing legislation.

State Representative Mary Moore from Jefferson County is against the devices in Birmingham.

“I didn’t like it when Center Point came. I think Midfield came back with some legislation for that, I don’t like it because it is just another piece of money coming out of the everyday citizen’s pocket,” Moore explained.

According to Woods, the city and state transportation leaders would need to do a study to determine the best place for the cameras.

“We want to make sure that we are equitable in how these cameras go out and so we’ll be very sensitive to making sure that we are doing this fairly and this is not set up in a way as a revenue generator. The goal is to create a safer roadway,” said Woods.

Woods said the cameras could also be tied into the area’s real-time crime center.

He believes the technology could allow the police to continue focusing on other major crimes to improve safety for neighbors across the city.

“That’s probably not the best use of their time, the most efficient use of their resources. We’ve seen them be really successful of late and seen some drops in crime and so we really want chief smith to be able to focus his resources in the best way,” said Woods.

The Birmingham City Council could hear about the idea at the next meeting. Woods is hopeful that state lawmakers could consider the idea in the 2020 legislative session.

Neighbors are hopeful for change.

“Anything they can do to help. It is all about saving lives,” said Fred Jackson, Vice President of Killough Springs Neighborhood Association.

Stay with CBS 42 for updates.


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