Safety or revenue.
Those two words are fueling the debate behind red light cameras in Oakland.
There was a public safety meeting in the city Tuesday night. Police want to extend a contract to keep the cameras at 11 intersections in Oakland.
"We cannot staff an officer at these intersections 24/7," Lt. Peter Lau said.
The department wants a green light from the city to extend the red light camera contract for an additional three years. They say it makes intersections safer. That extension would cost a little over two million dollars.
“The police department is experiencing a loss in personnel. This is one way to help as a force multiply at those dangerous intersections, ” Lau said.
But not everyone wants the red light cameras to stay.
Roger Jones is a local activist who organized the Red Light camera protest group in Alameda County. Jones argues that Oakland is more concerned about money. Violators are slapped with a $500 fine. In an eight month period between October 2011 and June 2012, the program reportedly generated 1.7 million dollars. Jones says that number is up for debate. He’s more interested in extending yellow times at red light intersections.
He believes that will create a safer environment.