Red light camera town hall Monday

Residents have a chance to weigh in on Arlington’s red-light cameras during a town hall meeting Monday night.

Councilman Robert Rivera, who represents council District 3, is hosting the meeting, set for 6 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 101 W. Abram St. A Police Department representative is expected to give residents a presentation about the contractor-operated system, which has been in place since 2007.

Rivera is pushing to unplug the cameras, which monitor 23 intersections. Because the city doesn’t have any way to force violators to pay the $75 fines, Rivera thinks the system is unfair to the drivers who pay voluntarily. Unpaid tickets from Arlington’s red-light cameras do not show up on the driver’s credit report and do not prevent drivers from obtaining a vehicle registration in Tarrant County.

The City Council is expected to continue discussing the issue at its Oct. 14 afternoon meeting.

“We need to let people know the reality of the cameras,” Rivera said. “At least the town hall will give citizens the opportunity to weigh in on the issue at a public forum. This will be their only opportunity.”

Half of the $75 fine goes to the state. The other half, after expenses, goes into city’s general fund and supports the police DWI Unit. Overall, the cameras have generated more than $12 million for the city, but unpaid fines total an estimated $2.5 million.

During an afternoon meeting last month, Mayor Robert Cluck and council members Kathryn Wilemon, Charlie Parker and Sheri Capehart said they support keeping the cameras. Council members Michael Glaspie, Jimmy Bennett, Robert Shepard and Lana Wolff did not express an opinion then. — Susan Schrock