Possibility of Safety Cameras in School Zones

A presentation at Tuesday's meeting of the Tom Green County Commissioner's discussed the possibility of safety cameras in school zones to monitor traffic violators.

Tom Green County Commissioners discussed the idea of placing safety cameras in school zones. Traffic violations in a school zone can result in injury or death of a young person. The mobile safety cameras would monitor daily traffic, and violations would be addressed by the County Sheriff's Office.

An Arizona based company, American Traffic Solutions, presented the program to Commissioners Tuesday morning. Spokesperson, Charles Territo, says the speed safety program would assist local law enforcement.

"School zone safety is important to communities throughout the country, and there's not a question that law enforcement has a difficult time enforcing speed limits in school zones," Territo said.

A concerned citizen, Greg Mauz, expressed his opposition to the program at Tuesday's meeting.

"Representative Vicki Truitt letter of intent of the law was no speed cameras in Texas period," Mauz said.

Mauz brought forth legality issues that may prevent the program from being enacted in any Texas County.

"They're basically a fraud. There's never been a need for them, people don't want them, they actually violate the Constitution in several ways. They violate fraud laws," Mauz said.

Territo says, the program has been successful in several states across the nation.

"One of the numbers that shows the biggest change in driver behavior is the number of individuals who receive a second violation," Territo said.

Tom Green County Judge, Steve Floyd, says the county is seeing a spike in traffic.

"I think most departments are having staffing issues, so anytime you could look at possible technology to be a tool to use I think it's worth an evaluation," Floyd said.

Precinct 4 County Commissioner, Bill Ford, says his main concern is school safety.

"I don't want it to be just a revenue builder, it needs to have something with impact on that school zone," Ford said.

Pending approval from the State Legislature, Commissioners will then decide if this program is suitable for Tom Green County.

"Nothing is going to be done until school comes back in session, so we got three months to sort it out," Ford said.

Tuesday morning, County Commissioners voted to table the school zone cameras item, and asked for additional research into the legality of the idea.

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