Morristown adds four new speed detection cameras, drivers unhapp

Morristown adds four new speed detection cameras, drivers unhappy

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Four more speed cameras are coming to Morristown, and drivers 6 News spoke with say they're not happy about it. Four more speed cameras are coming to Morristown, and drivers 6 News spoke with say they're not happy about it.
The new systems target drivers going 11 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. The cameras take a picture of the license plate and send a ticket to the car's owner in the mail. The new systems target drivers going 11 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. The cameras take a picture of the license plate and send a ticket to the car's owner in the mail.
By SHELBY MILLER
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Four more speed cameras are coming to Morristown, and drivers 6 News spoke with say they're not happy about it.

The new systems target drivers going 11 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. The cameras take a picture of the license plate and send a ticket to the car's owner in the mail.

Previous story: Red light and speed cameras online in Morristown


About five years ago, Morristown added four enforcement systems to roads across the city. The police department says, since then, they've seen better driving habits, fewer car crashes, and they've made a good amount of money from tickets, too.

The city decided to install four more cameras on local highways, meaning drivers flying through Morristown may soon want to slow down.

"I just believe it's another intrusion on our civil liberties. The Morristown police and the Hamblen County Sheriff already have enough vehicles out here patrolling. This is another revenue generator," said David, who lives in Hamblen County.

On top of the four existing cameras, two new systems sit on Highway 25, one by Wilson Hale Road and the other near Dalton Ford Road. Highway 160 gets two new cameras, also, one near South Cumberland Street and the second between Sulphur Springs Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Officers say the systems promote safety and they've seen fewer crashes along the major roadways. However, many drivers believe it's all about the money. 

"I don't appreciate it, you know, it's just taking the poor man's money, that's all it is. You know, you drive to work going five or 10 over going down the hill they're going to be sitting there," said Johnny Carter, who lives in Morristown near a new traffic camera.

City officials installed the first four automated enforcement systems in May 2009. Since then, they've collected $784,918.65.

Breakdown by year:

2010: $480,239.71
2011: $213,151.05
2012: $51,384.86
2013: $40,143.03

Last year alone, the police department sent out 648 speeding tickets and 2,646 red light tickets.

"It's just simply in enough areas where they think they can get the most revenue. It's not about safety at all," David said.

The types of tickets given out through the traffic camera systems don't affect driving records, but they do cost money.

Although the new cameras are up now, the Morristown Police Department says they're not in service yet. They'll begin testing them in a couple weeks and hope to have them up and running shortly after that.
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