SOUTHLAKE -- Drivers who turn right on red without coming to a complete stop at intersections are generating thousands of citations and thousands of dollars for the city, according to records from Southlake and the company that operates the red light cameras.Southlake mailed 6,159 citations generated from five cameras in April, May and June, the most recent time period in which reports are available. Of those, 4,832, or 78 percent, were from right turns on red, said Kim Leach, police spokeswoman.Traffic laws don't differentiate between vehicles that run a red light and those that make right turns without coming to a complete stop, Southlake officials said.Nearly half of the violations, 47 percent, occurred at the intersections of Davis Boulevard and Southlake Boulevard. The camera catches drivers heading northbound on Davis Boulevard where vehicles frequently turn right to head eastbound on Southlake Boulevard.Southlake's red light camera fund continues to grow, too.The $75 fines Southlake collected during that period totaled $387,299. Of that, 45 percent, $173,782, went to Red Flex, the company that operates and maintains the cameras.Southlake also paid $35,068 in personnel costs, online convenience charges and credit card fees. That includes the two police officer who reviews video captured by the cameras to determine if a citation is warranted. The officer rejected 3,742 potential violations in April, May and June.The remaining $178,448 was split between the state and Southlake, meaning the city's red light camera fund grew by $89,224 during the three-month period.Officials project the five red light cameras will produce more than $1 million in revenue for the city in the 2013 fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2013. That includes $2,500 in interest earned on the account.Funds from the red light camera citations are used for many things throughout the city, including flashing lights and pavement markings at crosswalks, electronic speed limit signs with radar and new school zone signs.State law requires that the money be spent only on safety-related items.
Where will the money go in 2013?
Crosswalk installation, $5,000
Electronic citation writers, $42,010
DVR dash cams for police vehicles, $15,900
Traffic study on Southlake Boulevard, $55,000
School zone flasher battery replacement, $8,000
Intersection improvements at Carroll Avenue and Federal Way, $145,000
Battery backup for Southlake Boulevard traffic signals, $30,000
Camera citations for April, May and June:
Northbound Davis Boulevard at Southlake Boulevard: 2,926
Eastbound Southlake Boulevard at Peytonville Avenue: 689
Westbound Southlake Boulevard at Kimball Avenue: 1,300
Westbound Southlake Boulevard at Carroll Avenue: 724
Westbound Southlake Boulevard at Pearson Lane: 520