SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- They've been idle for two years, but Springfield's red light enforcement cameras were back on the docket as the hot topic for City Council members on Monday night.
City leaders are considering two very different proposals. One bill calls for turning the red light cameras back on; six council members are sponsoring that measure. The other bill calls for sending the issue to the ballot box so voters can decide on the system's fate; that measure is backed by councilman Tommy Bieker.
Before both items came up for discussion. Bieker tried to table the bills. He wanted council to consider alternative engineering practices including increasing the yellow light timing at intersections. His motion was rejected.
Now both measures will move forward for votes.
"During the Springfield program, the average number of red light violations dropped by 36 percent, which indicates that every third red light runner changed their behavior during the program," said Phil Broyles, director of Springfield's Public Works Department.
"I think it is incumbent that if we are thinking about red light cameras again, that this be put to a public vote of the people. You cannot enforce any laws or ordinances that the people do not believe in," said Adolph Belt, who opposes the enforcement systems.