Bill would allow red light cameras in Spring Lake and Hope Mills

FILE - This Sept. 28, 2010 file photo shows a stop sign camera at the Top Of Topanga overlook in Topanga, Calif. (AP Photo)

SPRING LAKE, N.C (WNCN) — Red light traffic cameras could be coming to Hope Mills and Spring Lake

Cumberland County lawmakers submitted a bill to the general assembly proposing cameras last week.

“I think it would be a good idea, for as much traffic that goes through here,” said Avery Brawley, who lives in Charlotte but often drives through Spring Lake to visit family and friends.

Officials say N.C. Highway 87/24 averages 57,000 driver per day, including many who disobey red traffic lights.

“If it prevents one accident, it’s worth it,” said Rep. Marvin Lucas (D-Cumberland).

Lucas said talk of red light cameras in Spring Lake surfaced after a meeting with city leaders last month.

Mayor Chris Rey said the city has received dozens of complaints from residents about people running red lights.

“It’s a matter of safety,” Lucas said. “It’s not a matter that the town will get money, the town will get nothing from that”

Red light cameras in Spring Lake would be modeled after Fayetteville’s red light camera program. Violators would pay $100 per citation. Of that $100, $35 would go to the county schools.

Fayetteville activated red light cameras at various intersections in 2015. More than 24,000 citations have been issued and nearly $300,000 dollars has been paid to the school district.

“I would imagine it would help in some of the high-traffic areas, because a lot of people do run lights,” said Chris Aydlett, who lives in Wilmington but often passes through Spring Lake for work. “(I) travel in multiple states. I see it every day.”

Aydlett says he has mixed feelings about the cameras and is mostly concerned about their accuracy.

“Cause you know, you could let somebody borrow your car and you’re not the one driving the vehicle,” he said. “I’ve had that circumstance happen before.”

Right now the bill is in committee in the General Assembly.

Officials say plans to move forward with the traffic cameras would come after more discussion with city leaders and residents.

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