In March of 2018 Leon Valley began ticketing drivers that run red lights. With 11 cameras, they issued 54,000 citations in just 10 months. According to Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio, 3 additional red light cameras were installed within the last few weeks.
"The ultimate goal is for them to stop running the red lights,” said Chief Salvaggio. “It's not about the money. If they stop running the red lights, that's the easiest way for them to make these cameras go away."
Red light offenders are charged $75 per ticket. According to Chief Salvaggio, the cameras took 72,000 pictures over that 10-month period. However, Leon Valley officers determined that 18,000 of those pictures didn’t qualify as offenses.
While the chief says car crashes have decreased in the area by 41 percent since last year, some people remain against the cameras.
"I think it's too much,” said one driver. “Like for every little thing they're going to be catching you.”
We interviewed Henry Diecker on Thursday. Diecker is blind, and walks dozens of miles alongside Bandera road every week.
“To be honest, it’s terrifying,” said Diecker.
With a guide dog by Diecker’s side, he claims the red light cameras have decreased the amount of close calls he’s had with cars.
"I haven't had as many close calls,” said Diecker. “I mean it hasn't totally become Nirvana, but it's gone from about once a week, to once a month. I think that's huge."
With the addition of 3 new red light cameras, there are now 14 scattered across Leon Valley. According to Chief Salvaggio, they don’t plan on adding any more.
"It allows people to traverse through Leon Valley a lot more efficiently now, that you don't have all of these accidents,” said Chief Salvaggio.