AUSTIN, Texas — A new study found the city of Orlando has installed more than 1.6 million traffic cameras that are supposed to help cut down on vehicle collisions, but the numbers don’t always show up.
The City Council’s Transportation Committee approved a plan Wednesday that would require the city to install about 2 million cameras, including 1 million cameras on city streets.
“These are cameras that actually stop people from hitting the road,” said Councilwoman Toni Anderson, who proposed the proposal along with Councilwoman Barbara Allen.
Councilman Kevin Johnson, who represents the city’s western suburbs, said he agrees with the council’s plan but wants to see the city take more time to install the cameras.
In the past two years, Orlando has approved 1.8 million cameras for street sweeping, police patrols, and other traffic violations, but only about 2.3 million of those have actually been installed, according to the Orlando Police Department.
City officials said the 1.7 million traffic camera installations have not prevented crashes, and they are only one part of the problem.
Many drivers still ignore traffic signals, which can result in injuries and fatalities.
And the city is facing a growing problem of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths, with one of its busiest intersections, Westwood Boulevard, already clogged with cars.
Anderson said that after the City Council approved the traffic cameras, she contacted the U.S. Department of Transportation to ask it to make sure it was enforcing the rules.
After more than a year of research, Anderson said she believes the department has not followed the rules, and the city should be required to install 1.9 million cameras.
“The department should not be required in this way to install a billion dollar dollar system to solve a problem that doesn’t exist,” Anderson said.
For Anderson, the traffic camera issue is about the safety of the city.
But she is worried that the city will not be able to meet the new goal.
If the City council is going to spend $100 million to install millions of cameras, then they should be able do that with more than $2 billion dollars in city money,” she said.