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Thousands Not Paying Red Light Camera Fines

PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - More than 52,000 red light camera violations in Plano have gone unpaid.

"That's a concern," said Officer David Tilley. "We don't want people to believe that they are not important because they are. They do save lives."

Tuesday the police department announced a red light camera amnesty program giving delinquent drivers until December 1st to pay up. For those who don't, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicle will place a hold on their vehicle registration renewal until the fine is paid.

"This particular program will put a little bit of urgency for people to take care of their responsibilities," said Tilley.

But in order for it to work, the police department needs the county tax assessor-collector to be on board and that's not the case in Collin County.

The county's tax collector-assessor, Ken Maun, said, "Collin County is not on board because we are not staffed to do that kind of work."

Maun said he would need to hire at least seven more people to keep up with the scofflaw and he said the county has not given him the budget to do that.

So when residents come in for a vehicle registration renewal, Maun said his staff will not check to see if they have any unpaid red light camera fines.

The police department said ever since putting these cameras up, crashes at the intersections with the cameras are down.

But without consequences, some worry the effectiveness may come to a stop.

Rob Robinson, a Plano resident, paid $75 for each of his red light camera notices before he learned little was being done to enforce the violations.

"It irritates me a little bit," he said. "Not that I want to do it, but if I get caught again I'm not going to pay it. I could use that money for something else."

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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