Red Light Cameras Coming to Another East Tennessee City

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Morristown (WVLT) -- More East Tennessee drivers are going to have to resist the temptation to beat a red light.

Another city is installing cameras that catch people who run them.

Volunteer TV's Rob Pratt has the details in the story you'll only see on WVLT.

Knoxville and Kingsport already have them.

Now, Morristown is joining the list of East Tennessee cities with red light cameras.

Some love the idea and others don't think the project should get the green light.

The rule is simple: The light turns red, you stop.

But, sometimes it's tempting to cheat.

That's why Morristown is installing the cameras at five intersections.

"Both Knoxville and Kingsport, in their experience, have seen significant reductions in traffic accidents occurring in the intersections that have cameras," said Jim Crumley, Morristown City Administrator.

Morristown will use the exact same technology Knoxville is already using.

Cameras take photos of cars as they cross the line on red.

A ticket comes in the mail later.

But do the people who drive these roads think this will make them any safer?

"There's a lot of accidents at this intersection here in front of Wal-Mart and I almost seen one the other day where a truck slid through the intersection trying to stop in time for a red light. Maybe it might keep people from speeding through the intersection," said Charles Jarvis.

Floyd Rawlings, who just came here from Texas, says Houston uses the cameras, but he's not convinced safety is the reason."

"It's more about making money. It's a revenue enhancer for the cities I think," said Rawlings.

"One of the cameras will be at an intersection in front of Walters State Community College.

Students opinion is divided.

"We speed up all the time, mostly students, because we're running late for class or trying to get an early parking spot. We run it all the time," said Keima Talley.

"I just feel like it's a huge invasion of my privacy and I really wouldn't like knowing that a camera is watching me while I'm driving," said Leah Harville.

But watch they will, next spring.

The city administrator says installing cameras is a risk-free investment for taxpayers.

Camera companies install them in exchange for about 2/3 of the revenue they generate.

Even with only a third of the revenue coming back to the city, Morristown expects to bring in about $400,000 per year.

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