Marietta mulls more red light cameras in hopes of slowing down speeders

Marietta wants to install red light cameras at some of its busiest intersections. The city says it would slow down speeders and improve safety. But some experts say maybe not so much.

The city already has three cameras up at various locations along Cobb Parkway and South Marietta. City council members could soon decide whether to ask GDOT to approve a proposal to place the cameras at Cobb Parkway and Roswell Street, Cobb Parkway South and South Marietta Parkway as well as Fairground Street and South Marietta Parkway.

"I think it’s a great idea," said Sarah Taplin, who frequently drives along Cobb Parkway. "It’s going to control the area because the area gets really busy. It’ll help with all that regulating everyone and not speeding through it."

A recent study found the cameras in Houston prevented drivers from running red lights and reduced some crashes. "That’s only half the story," said Justin Gallagher, an associate professor of economics at Montana State University, who co-authored the study.

Gallagher says accidents in the middle of intersections, like T-boning, drop. He says accidents at the light, like rear-ends, go up almost at the same rate.

"A 26% decrease in the type of accidents the program was aiming for angle accidents. That’s a good thing. We saw about a 21% increase in the other types of accidents," Gallagher said 

Gallagher says the cameras provide little net benefit in safety. "We found it did not," Gallagher said.

No one from the city would speak with FOX 5 on a camera. But a spokesperson sent a statement saying another camera at the Canton Road Connector and Highway 41 will begin issuing tickets on Tuesday.

City Council is scheduled to discuss the cameras again at the end of August. GDOT must approve all cameras.