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Archive for May, 2011

ATS’ Newsletter, Issue 25

May 25th, 2011 Comments off

Judge Dismisses Red-Light Camera Lawsuit
WFTV Channel 9 (Florida), May 26, 2011

An Orange County judge dismissed a red-light camera lawsuit against the city of Orlando this week. A commercial vehicle driver filed the lawsuit, claiming the cameras were unconstitutional.

City Rejects Road Safety Camera Petition, Sets Advisory Vote
The Daily News (Washington), May 25, 2011

Longview City Council members rejected calls to put a citizens initiative on the ballot that would repeal the road safety camera program, rebuffing camera critics while still allowing citizens to participate in an advisory vote on the cameras.


Los Angeles Times photo

Woman Killed when Car Collides with Inglewood Police Cruiser
Los Angeles Times (California), May 24, 2011

Police will use images from a red-light safety camera to help determine who had the right of way in this deadly accident involving an SUV and a police car on its way to a crime.


ABC15.com photo

Driver in Passing Car Dies in Red-Light Running Crash
ABC15.com (Arizona), May 24, 2011

A woman was killed after being ejected from her vehicle in a violent crash Tuesday afternoon in Mesa. Police say a driver ran a red light and collided with a passing SUV.

Court Asked to Rule on Camera Initiative Vote
The Seattle Times (Washington), May 24, 2011

A group from Mukilteo asked the Washington State Supreme Court on Tuesday to rule on the validity of a public vote on red-light traffic cameras in the city. It’s a case that could have broad implications as red-light camera opponents push ballot measures in several Washington cities.

St. Louis Attorney Says Cameras Still on the Job
STLToday.com (Missouri), May 23, 2011

A St. Louis circuit court judge’s preliminary ruling that the city’s red light camera law is invalid does not have any immediate impact on the red light camera system, and tickets will continue to be issued, city counselor Michael Garvin said Monday.

Red-Light Safety Cameras Will Stand in Washington
Wenatchee World (Washington), May 21, 2011

Voters in Wenatchee will not be voting on red-light cameras. Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges’ ruling deflated a proposed measure to give voters a say in installing red light cameras. The judge explained that state Legislature specifically gave the power to regulate red-light camera use to city councils, and that such council action is not subject to direct voter approval. See related article.


Arnold Patch photo by Michael de los Reyes

The city council in Arnold Missouri voted last week to negotiate a 3-year renewal contract with American Traffic Solutions. ATS has provided Arnold with a road safety camera program since 2005. Arnold Patch, May 20, 2011.
This week, the city of St. Joseph became ATS’ newest client in Missouri, with a fully executed agreement.

Where are the Most Dangerous Intersections in America? A reminder to be careful on the roads this #MemorialDay weekend http://bit.ly/iDDxZK


WREG TV Channel 3

Memphis Councilman Says Cameras Enhance Safety, Raise Funds
WREG TV Channel 3 (Tennessee), May 24, 2011

City Council chairman Myron Lowery says expanding the existing red light camera program to include speed could be just the ticket toward solving some of the city’s money problems.


Buffalo News photo
With this image as proof of the problem in downtown, the Buffalo News editorialized on the mayor’s support for red-light cameras, saying: “Again, no system is going to be perfect, and red-light cameras should be considered just another tool to be utilized in the name of traffic safety. Those who stop for red lights need not worry.”

Commentary: Where’s the Justice?
News & Record (North Carolina), May 24, 2011

A recent visit to Greensboro started out well enough. I was in town to do research for a book. I did some interviews, found some useful documents in the public library. It had been a good day. Then the crash happened.

Commentary: Innovative Technologies and Initiatives Save Lives
CTPost.com (Connecticut), May 19, 2011

As a member and former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, I have seen firsthand what technology can do to save lives, reduce injuries and even prevent accidents.

Letter to Editor: Cameras Improve Safety
DailyComet.com (Louisiana), May 24, 2011

We don’t see how there could be any question about photo enforcement. As far as we see it, the safety cameras do nothing but make our roads safer for people inside and outside of the vehicle.


Scottsdale Police/ABC 15.com

Red-Light Safety Camera Shows Driver Not at Fault in Pedestrian Collision
Jalopnik.com (Arizona), May 25, 2011

A mother and her 4-year-old daughter struck by a SUV while crossing a Scottsdale, Ariz., intersection survived with only minor injuries. The mother and police were ready to blame the SUV driver — until a red-light camera video showed otherwise.

Camera Records 3-Car Collision in Miami
ATS Road Safety Channel on youtube.com, May 17, 2011

A red-light runner collides with two passing vehicles.

“I think all citizens should look forward to giving a traffic ticket to those who are breaking the law, rather than to have us have to increase taxes and lay off other employees.”
Myron Lowery, Memphis city councilman
WREG ABC TV 3, May 24, 2011
 

Tennessee
In Knoxville, from January to March 31, 2011, there were 38,766 potential traffic violations reported and 17,962 citations mailed to drivers. At intersections with the traffic cameras, there was a 13 percent decrease in the total number of crashes during the same period last year. SOURCE: WVLT TV Channel 8, May 24, 2011.

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ATS’ Newsletter, Issue 24

May 19th, 2011 Comments off

New PSA Video Highlights Dangers of Red-Light Running: Victims’ Families Discuss Need for Increased Road Safety http://prn.to/lzqB3c #pr


St. Petersburg Times photo by Skip O’Rourke
Amelia Vega (left), the mother of bicyclist Diane Vega who died in a red-light running crash while waiting for the light to change, attends a court hearing with family.

Deadly Tampa Crash Unites Strangers, Witnesses
St. Petersburg Times (Florida), May 18, 2011

David Zinn felt the whoosh of a passing car rock his Hyundai. He looked at the light. Solid red, he would remember. He shuddered, sensing what was next. He saw it happen, two cars on a collision path.

Florida City Gets Drivers Ready for Cameras
Santa Rosa Press Gazette, May 17, 2011

The city of Milton began its public awareness campaign this week to let residents know about the road safety camera program at three intersections. Warnings begin June 15.

Green Light Sought for Red-Light Safety Cameras
The Boston Herald (Massachusetts), May 16, 2011

Communities across Massachusetts are ramping up pressure on Beacon Hill to legalize road safety camera programs so cities and towns can crack down on red-light scofflaws.


St. Joseph News-Press photo by Eric Keith

St. Joseph to Install Red-Light Safety Cameras
St. Joseph News-Press (Missouri), May 16, 2011

St. Joseph will join 30 other Missouri cities using cameras to catch drivers who run red lights.

Battle Heats Up Over Cameras
The Herald (Washington), May 15, 2011

Two court cases are about to begin and voters may see a statewide initiative over red-light safety cameras.

How Red-Light Safety Cameras Work
Orlando Sentinel (Florida), May 14, 2011

Nearly 40 intersections throughout Central Florida are watched around the clock by an unblinking set of cameras snapping still pictures and short videos. The equipment … is activated when a laser determines a motorist is about to enter an intersection after the light turns red.

Two cities in New Jersey have chosen American Traffic Solutions to be their road safety camera provider this past week. North Brunswick and Pennsauken will install the company’s red-light safety cameras. Also, St. Joseph, Missouri, has agreed to enter into a contract with ATS to install red light cameras at two intersections.

Boynton Beach and Pembroke Pines, Florida, have ended their warning periods and are now issuing $158 fines for running red lights. Milton, Florida, will begin its warning period on June 15.

Editorial: Red-Light Safety Cameras Save Money and Lives
The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), May 18, 2011

The Ohio Supreme Court didn’t explain its decision to dismiss a lawsuit against the city of Columbus questioning the constitutionality of cities’ use of red-light cameras. Nevertheless, the result is a good one. Red-light cameras have prevented injuries and property damage and saved lives.

Letter to Editor: Red-Light Cameras Needed
The Kansas City Star (Missouri), May 17, 2011

The Kansas City metropolitan area has a serious problem with people who run red lights.

Letter to Editor: Red-Light Cameras Save Lives
Kane City Chronicle (Ohio), May 18, 2011

Our passion for traffic safety stems from the deep heartfelt sorrow and pain experienced in 2002 when our daughter, Sarah, was killed by a man who ran a red light and crashed into her car.

City to Double Number of Red-Light Safety Cameras
WFTV Channel 9 (Florida), May 18, 2011

The city of Ocoee is working through plans to install five more cameras at three intersections. So far, crashes at those locations are down 24 percent, police say.


The Orange County Register photo by Richard Koehler

3-Year-Old Girl Dies in Intersection Collision
The Orange County Register (California), May 16, 2011

Police are still investigating the cause of this deadly crash in Tustin, but the impact of the broadside collision killed a little girl who was in her car seat. Broadside or T-bone collisions at intersections are the most dangerous types of crashes and often result in injury or death.

Missouri City Awaits 5-Year Contract with ATS
St.JoeChannel.com, May 16, 2011

St. Joseph City Council members approved the plan to install red light cameras at busy St. Joseph intersections.

Warning Period Ends in Boynton Beach
WPBF TV ABC News Channel 25, May 16, 2011

Police are now using red-light safety cameras to issue citations from two locations in Boynton Beach, and officials expect to add more cameras in a few weeks.

“If we save lives even one or two lives, I’m very happy about that.”
Frank Ortis, Pembroke Pines  mayor
CBSMiami.com, May 16, 2011

“This is just about public safety. It’s a no-brainer. … This saves lives.”
Thomas M. Menino, Boston mayor who has pushed for red light cameras since 1993
The Boston Herald, May 16, 2011

“What’s wrong with revenue from lawbreakers? What’s wrong with, ‘Do the crime, pay the fine?'”
Jim Walters, Iowa resident and writer
Press-Citizen, May 15, 2011

“It’s all about safety, as far as I’m concerned. The truth of the matter is that if you don’t run the light you don’t get a ticket. I think most people when they stop and think about it recognize you shouldn’t run a red light.”
Mary Margaret Haugen, Washington state senator
The Herald, May 15, 2011

“Statistics have shown that these cameras do help in reducing collisions.”
Stephanie Slater, Boynton Beach Police Department spokeswoman
WPBF ABC Channel 25 (Florida), May 15, 2011

Florida
Red light safety cameras at two intersections issued 168 warning violations to red-light runners during the 30-day warning period in Boynton Beach. SOURCE: WPBF TV ABC News Channel 25, May 16, 2011.

Missouri
The number of crashes at the four intersections with camera systems in Arnold fell 19 percent between 2005 and 2010. SOURCE: Arnold Patch, May 16, 2011.

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ATS’ Newsletter, Issue 23

May 12th, 2011 Comments off


Crofton Patch photo by Christine H.

Bill to Use Cameras to Enforce School Bus Law OK’d
The Baltimore Sun (Maryland), May 10, 2011

Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a bill on Tuesday that will permit local jurisdictions to install cameras on school buses to enforce the law against passing those vehicles when they stop to pick up or drop off children.

Red-Light Safety Cameras Survive Repeal Effort in Florida
FirstCoastNews.com, May 11, 2011

Road Cameras in Florida will continue their mission to catch drivers who blow through red lights, at least for another year. A bill to repeal red light cameras passed the Florida House, but failed to get through the Senate this year.


Hernando Today photo

Pickup Driver Flees Police, Runs Red Light; Motorcyclist Dies
Hernando Today (Florida), May 10, 2011

A woman pulled over Tuesday for suspected drunk driving managed to drive away while handcuffed, dragging a Pasco County deputy across three lanes of traffic before hitting and killing a motorcyclist across the county line in Hernando, deputies said.

Authorities Issue 640 Red Light Violations in 30 Days
Gulfport Patch, (Florida), May 10, 2011

Three intersection safety cameras went live on March 21, 2011, in Gulfport. During the first 30 days, officials issued 639 red light citations.


Buffalo News photo by Derek Gee

Buffalo Mayor Says Public Wants Cameras
Buffalo News (New York), May 9, 2011  

Motorists who run red lights could help pay the freight for everything from theatrical productions and museums to flower displays and inner-city arts programs if Mayor Byron W. Brown can persuade lawmakers to approve his controversial plan.

Red-Light Safety Cameras Could be Back in Brooksville
Hernando Today (Florida), May 9, 2011

Now that bills aimed to eliminate or limit red light cameras have failed in the Legislature, expect the topic of reinstalling them in Brooksville to return. City council member Lara Bradburn — a camera advocate — said she expects the board to reconsider installing red light cameras as budget talks heat up.

Mayor Defends Red-Light Safety Camera Program
Redmond Reporter (Washington), May 9, 2011

Unease over red-light and speed cameras being used as a form of taxation for the city of Redmond was the first topic raised among residents gathered at the Redmond Senior Center’s First Friday Coffee Chat with Mayor John Marchione.

Arnold Anticipates Extended Red-Light Safety Camera Contract
St. Louis Post-Dispatch/STLToday.com (Missouri), May 6, 2011

The city of Arnold is determined to keep the cameras it has installed at four intersections. The City Council voted Thursday to begin negotiations for a contract extension with American Traffic Solutions, the city’s vendor since 2005. The current contract expires May 31.

Bellingham, Washington, has chosen American Traffic Solutions as its Road Safety Camera provider. The agreement provides for two fixed speed cameras and four red-light safety cameras.

Did you know? One in three Americans knows someone who has been injured or killed in a red light-running crash. #roadsafety.

Commentary: Cameras Actually Do Make Streets Safer, Darn Them
Cleveland.com (Ohio), May 11, 2011

It’s not often that a columnist has the opportunity to alienate friends, family and total strangers with the same 700 words, so I’m going to take a deep, cleansing breath and try to savor the synchronicity of it all. Listen: Stop whining about the traffic cameras.

Call of the Week: Red Light Camera Debate Infuriates Constituent
The Miami Herald (Florida), May 10, 2011

Beware, the language in this call is offensive. Our intent is not to condone or encourage this caller’s behavior. Instead, we include his message as an example of how upset people can get when sensible laws that protect motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists from getting injured or killed by a red-light runner are threatened.

Letter to Editor: Keep Cameras Flashing
The Virginian-Pilot, May 11, 2011

They are now saying that the camera’s flash as it takes a photo of a car running a red light might be disorienting to senior citizens. I’m a senior citizen, and the only thing a camera flash does to me is make me applaud that another red-light runner has been caught.

Letter to Editor: Montgomery’s Red-Light Safety Cameras Are an Effective, Lifesaving Tool
The Birmingham News/al.com (Alabama), May 9, 2011

In its April 15 editorial “Red-light district,” The Birmingham News raised several issues about the use of red-light safety cameras, which are the focus of a bill being debated in the state Legislature. Following in Montgomery’s footsteps, Birmingham is asking for state permission to install cameras at intersections to penalize drivers who run red lights. One thing is clear. Red-light running is a serious problem nationwide, not just in Alabama.

“I do think red-light cameras are a good thing for our city and a valuable tool that we lost. I would prefer not to have officers monitor these intersections if they can be monitored by a camera. I’d rather give them other duties.”
Brian Lumpkin, assistant police chief, Houston Police Department
Houston Chronicle/Chron.com (Texas), May 11, 2011

“The data clearly shows when you put those enforcement cameras in, it reduces the number of people who run red lights. My fear is that you’ll see the number of serious bodily injuries and fatalities from side-impact accidents increase.”
Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union
Houston Chronicle/Chron.com (Texas), May 11, 2011

“The amount of revenue flows from the size of the problem.”
Karen Manser, deputy police chief, Lynnwood Police Department, on the amount of revenue from red-light running  violations
HeraldNet.com (Washington), May 2, 2011


Daily News photo by Andy Holzman
Los Angeles Police Officer Mike Gregg reviews video of red-light violators.

California
One police officer reviewing red-light running violations captured on cameras can do the equivalent work of 100 officers on the streets in Los Angeles. SOURCE: Daily News, May 11, 2011.

Tennessee
Traffic crashes to date are down 5 percent from 2010 in Mount Juliet, where cameras first went live in January 2010. So far, police have processed 48,000 incidents captured by red-light safety cameras and issued 24,000 tickets, 57 percent of which went to non-Mount Juliet residents. The city has seven cameras at five intersections. SOURCE: The Tennessean, May 10, 2011

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ATS’ Newsletter, Issue 22

May 5th, 2011 Comments off


Daily News photo by Michael Owen Baker
Red Light Safety Cameras provide 24-hour coverage at Roscoe Boulevard and De Soto Avenue in Los Angeles, where American Traffic Solutions recently won a contract extension.

Ohio Supreme Court Throws Out Lawsuit Against Red-Light Safety Cameras
Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), May 5, 2011

The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday threw out a lawsuit claiming that Columbus’ red-light camera fines violate the state constitution.

Camera Program Helps City Win National Safety Recognition
Northeast News and Tribune (Florida), May 4, 2011

The city’s commitment to providing a pedestrian-friendly environment has garnered national attention. Red-Light Safety Cameras are one reason for the recognition.

Police Seize Vehicles for Unpaid Red-Light Violations
KRWG TV 22 (New Mexico), May 3, 2011

The Las Cruces Police Department will begin seizing or immobilizing vehicles whose owners are in default of the Safe Traffic Operations Program, the city’s photo enforcement camera ordinance. … The ordinance’s top scofflaw has 15 unpaid citations and owes the city $1,875 in fines and fees.

Drivers Must Pay Red-Light Tickets to Register Vehicle
Nueces County Record Star (Texas), May 3, 2011

On April 25, the Nueces County Tax Assessor Collector’s Office began declining all motor vehicle registrations renewals for county residents who owe red-light camera ticket violations of $75 or more.

Red-Light Runner Causes 3-Vehicle Collision
Lansing State Journal (Michigan), May 2, 2011

Five people were injured in a three-vehicle collision in Lansing after a vehicle ran a red light, according to police.

Witnesses Tell Police SUV Ran Red Light, Caused Fatal Crash
The News Tribune (Washington), May 1, 2011

A 37-year-old Tacoma man died after the motorcycle he was riding struck an SUV. Witnesses told police the SUV had run a red light.

Photo Helped Authorities Capture Auto Thief
The Columbian (Oregon), April 28, 2011

A 31-year-old Salem man with a long criminal record is headed to prison for four years for auto theft. A red-light safety camera in Salem photographed him earlier driving a stolen car.

11 Walk Friendly Communities Named
AltTransport.com (New York), April 28, 2011

The installation of red-light cameras is one reason why Seattle was named the nation’s No. 1 Walk Friendly Community.

St. Petersburg, Florida, has selected American Traffic Solutions as its Road Safety Camera provider. The agreement with the fourth-largest city in the state calls for up to 50 cameras to be installed.


Philip Underhill

ATS’ PlatePass Gets Its Story Told
Traffic Technology Today, March 25, 2011

Since its inception in 2005, PlatePass has evolved to become one of tolling’s modern day success stories. Yet, its story remains surprisingly undertold. … To remedy this, Traffic Technology International interviewed the man who has dedicated his career over the past few years entirely to PlatePass.

Amanda Devine’s life was changed forever when she was hit by a red-light runner http://bit.ly/k2NkMN #roadsafety

Editorial: Put Brakes on Red-Light Camera Repeal
Orlando Sentinel (Florida), May 4, 2011

Proving as wishy-washy as teenagers, the Florida House on Monday completed its reckless red-light camera roundabout.

Editorial: Crusade for Safety
Philly.com (Pennsylvania), April 27, 2011

Authorities should supplement the successful red-light cameras … by saturating the highway with increased police patrols and crosswalks and installing even more red-light cameras to catch speeders.

Letter to Editor: Full Speed Ahead for Safety
Marco Eagle (Florida), April 28, 2011

The drivers around Naples are bad enough without eliminating the only enforcement at busy intersections. … Now, drivers may run the light as long as they are turning right. What about those poor people who are walking across the intersection in the crosswalk with the light? No one looks for them!


KSAZ TV Fox Channel 10 photo

Traffic Camera Video Shows Collision Involving Students
KSAZ TV Fox Channel 10 (Arizona), April 28, 2011

This dramatic video shows a collision at a Peoria intersection. The collision occurred as a group of high school students run a red light and a sport utility vehicle strikes them.

“We don’t get any money if you just obey the laws you learned in drivers ed.”
Melvin Williams, Sioux City police captain
Sioux City Journal.com, May 3, 2011

“There was a time when you had four, five and six people going through on a red light (in Collier County). Well, now people stop.”
Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, Florida state representative
Naples Daily News, May 2, 2011

“The original reason why Lynnwood even started looking into photo enforcement was due to daily calls to the department from citizens in Lynnwood and others driving through complaining about all of the people running red lights in this city. We don’t get those daily calls anymore.”
Shannon Sessions, Lynnwood Police Department’s spokeswoman
The Daily Herald/HeraldNet.com (Washington), May 2, 2011

“I believe in my heart that we’re saving lives.”
Eddy Gonzalez, R-Hialeah, Florida state representative
The Miami Herald, May 2, 2011 

Florida
At a busy intersection in Apopka, traffic tickets have plunged from nearly 300 last August to 18 within five months. SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel, May 4, 2011.

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