RED BANK, TN. (WRCB) - Red Bank has become somewhat infamous among drivers for its traffic cameras, but they're going dark at midnight, January 19.
Red Bank city officials say the traffic cameras made a million bucks when they first went up seven years ago, but that dwindled down to around $24,000 last year. They say all factors considered, it's worth taking them down to get people back to Red Bank.
The cameras have been a sore subject among more than 72,000 drivers who've received that dreaded photo copy in the mail with a ticket.
"I got one here on Signal Mountain Road. You're supposed to be able to turn right on red, but apparently not in Red Bank. Cost me $50 for nothing," Red Bank resident, Raymon McCarter says.
Complaints flooded into city hall from residents like McCarter and local businesses.
"It was reducing the amount of visitors we have that come to Red Bank to go to businesses, shopping and restaurants," Red Bank City Manager Randall Smith says.
People coming from Chattanooga say it's something they're always aware of when driving into Red Bank.
"It makes you more cautious, but I think a lot of it is, I think it makes you more intimidated," driver, Janis Simmons says.
The complaints drove city officials to evaluate how much the city was making off the tickets considering traffic lightened dramatically.
"It wasn't like we were raking in piles of money," Smith says.
After paying a percentage to American Traffic Solutions and salaries to officers reviewing the photos, he says they weren't turning enough of a profit to keep driving away business.
"That's not an insurmountable amount of money to budget for," Smith says.
Commissioners voted to do away with them all together.
"Maybe business through Red Bank will pick back up again. It's been cut for so long since they been in, everybody tries to avoid this area," McCarter says.
"I think they need to have more policeman driving up and down the road instead of cameras," Simmons says.
The city is also doing away with the speed radar vans.
The cameras will still capture traffic violations up through 11:59 p.m.
You'll still see the cameras there for the next six to eight weeks until American Traffic Solutions comes and removes them, but they won't be working.