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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 35

July 30th, 2014 Comments off

 

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Red-light running is an aggressive driving behavior that killed 683 people and injured 133,000 in 2012. Ending this recklessness is the aim of Stop on Red Week, which begins Sunday. Along with hearing what the experts have to say in your city about safe driving and its many benefits, make a pledge this year to stop on red. The change you make, may just save a life. For information about raising awareness about red-light running hazards, visit ATS on Facebook, the National Coalition for Safer Roads or the Federal Highway Administration. Then go to the ATS Twitter page and spread the message using #StopOnRed2014!

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Vehicular Assault Charge Filed in Red-Light Running Crash
KMGH-TV ABC 7 (Colorado), July 30, 2014

Denver prosecutors have formally charged a woman with vehicular assault after they said she ran a red light and crashed into another car injuring six people.

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2nd Red-Light Camera Program in Pennsylvania Launches
Montgomery Media, July 30, 2014

Ten red-light safety cameras will become operational at three intersections in Abington Township on Friday. In addition to Philadelphia, Abington is the only other municipality in the state to use a red-light camera system to aid in traffic safety. (21st Century Media photo by Geoff Patton)

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Mount Vernon, New Rochelle in Line for Red-Light Safety Cameras
New Rochelle Daily Voice (New York), July 29, 2014

New Rochelle and Mount Vernon motorists are going to have to exercise a little more caution when approaching yellow lights in their cities after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to install red-light cameras at intersections. The legislation, which was sponsored by State Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, who represents Mount Vernon, allows Mount Vernon to install cameras at up to 20 intersections, while New Rochelle can install as many as a dozen. (Photo by Marcus Yam for The New York Times)

Local Governments Turn Red Lights into Green
WTOP-Radio 103.5 FM  (Washington D.C.), July 28, 2014

Red-light cameras are pulling in big dollars for local governments in the Washington, D.C., area, according to new data from AAA Mid-Atlantic. Red-light camera programs in cities like D.C. and Rockville, and Montgomery, Prince George’s and Arlington counties raked in $21 million combined in 2013, the data show.

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Bellevue Expands Photo Enforcement Program
ITS International, July 25, 2014

Bellevue City Council, Washington, has approved an expansion of the city’s photo enforcement program, supplied by American Traffic Solutions, from three red-light cameras and two school-zone cameras to six red-light cameras and three school-zone cameras.

Fayetteville Red-Light Cameras to Return
WRAL-TV Channel 5 (North Carolina), July 24, 2014

Red-light cameras will likely reappear at some Fayetteville intersections soon. Last week, lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that will allow the program to be paid for through a joint agreement between the city and the Cumberland County Board of Education.

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Speed Cameras Cut Speeding 43% in Chicago
Streetsblog Chicago (Illinois), July 21, 2014

The City of Chicago’s automated speed enforcement system continues to succeed in reducing dangerous speeding around parks and schools. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, the number of speeding cars observed by its 51 speed cameras has fallen an average of 43 percent ever since the first week of the cameras’ operation. At some locations, the number of speeders dropped as much as 99 percent. See related city press release. (WGN-TV Channel 9 image)

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Talk Now with Children about School Bus Safety
Newswise.com, July 28, 2014

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, from 2001 through 2010, 1,368 people died in school transportation-related crashes – an average of 137 fatalities per year. “As families begin to prepare for children returning to school, it’s important for parents and children to go over school bus safety tips together,” says Dawne Gardner, injury prevention coordinator, Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

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Speed Cameras Begin Operation in Nassau School Zones
Newsday (New York), July 26, 2014

Nassau County has started operating speed cameras at school zones as part of a state-approved plan aimed at improving traffic safety and raising money for the county. On Friday, cameras were placed at three schools, which are open for summer school. Each received a mobile unit, an unmarked van equipped with two cameras and a radar machine, to place nearby. (Newsday photo by Steve Pfost)

Speed Camera Set for School
Levittown Tribune (New York), July 25, 2014

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. The new systems will be implemented on July 25. In the Island Trees Union-Free School District, the Memorial Middle School was picked as the location for the new camera system to try and encourage safety while reducing the speed of traffic around the school.

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ATS Primary Logo

American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is proud to announce the extension of its road safety camera agreements with several long-standing clients. The cities of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, along with Florida City and Opa-Locka, Florida, all recently agreed to continue operating their photo enforcement systems. Opa-Locka, a client since 2009, and Baton Rouge, a client since 2007, both signed five-year extensions, while Florida City, an ATS client since 2007, extended their agreement by three years. ATS is honored to remain a partner in road safety with Opa-Locka, Florida City, Baton Rouge and all of its clients.

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ATS_Road Safety @ATS_RoadSafety Tip Tuesday: Driving while using a mobile reduces brain activity associated with driving by 37%. http://pinterest.com/pin/437412182532168707/

NCSS_Transportation @SchoolBusNCSS Help us protect students. Never pass a school bus when the stop arm is extended! Please RT. #ncssbethebest

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Electronic Toll Installations Proceed in Miami-Dade County
Miami Herald (Florida), July 28, 2014

Partial evening closures on two major east-west expressways in Miami-Dade County are in effect this week. Workers are installing electronic tolling equipment on state roads 836 (the Dolphin Expressway) and 112 (the Airport Expressway). The overhead scanners will do away with the need for tollbooths. They will also close loopholes that allow some cars traveling between certain exits to escape tolls. See additional Miami Herald news coverage.

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Data Shows Switch to Automatic Tolling on Tobin Bridge a No-Brainer
BosInno (Massachusetts), July 22, 2014

When the Massachusetts Department of Transportation switched the Tobin Bridge from its traditional toll-taking methods to the contemporary and electronic E-ZPass system, it seemed like a no-brainer. Still, I wondered if it was a bit unfair that the preeminent entranceway to Boston from the north is more accommodating to the E-ZPass crowd? I figured as much … until I saw the data.

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Commentary: Red-Light Cameras Are Picture Perfect for Speeders
The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada), July 28, 2014

The police seem very busy whenever they set up shop for speeders on the 403 overpass. But why are we using highly paid, highly skilled people when we can mount a camera and get everyone? Right now, the police are limited in the number of speeders they can catch because when they’re busy with one, others are sneaking through. With photo radar, we can catch them all. We have the technology, why aren’t we using it more effectively?

Commentary: Cameras Returning, and It’s about Time
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), July 26, 2014

Driving in Fayetteville will be safer soon – at least at some busy intersections. Red-light cameras are coming back. That makes me happy. Red-light cameras made so much sense here earlier. And the police had the numbers to prove they worked. The cameras caught the idiots in action and mailed them tickets. Each of those intersections got safer. There was no question about the cause and effect.

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Letter: Run a Red Light – Get a Ticket
Amarillo Globe-News (Texas), July 29, 2014

The state of Texas has a law about running red lights, and that’s what last week’s letter-writer did – and got caught. The writer can complain all he wants, and spend all the time he wants in researching an ordinance and then venting his anger in a letter to the editor, but running a red light is running a red light – a violation worthy of a ticket.

Letter: Don’t Run Red Lights – Problem Solved
Amarillo Globe-News (Texas), July 27, 2014

In reference to the guest column (Look at the big picture of Amarillo’s red-light traffic cameras, July 19, amarillo.com), it is nice that the author did all his homework on red-light requirements. Too bad he didn’t do his homework and research on red-light cameras actually in Amarillo.

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“Technology has been made available to us that will help us accomplish our traffic safety goals and help us do so perfectly. We’d be remiss not to say, ‘Let’s go and try it.’ Why would we ignore that technology just because some people see it as controversial? We want to reduce the number of violations, reduce the number of accidents, and most importantly, reduce the number of accidents with injuries.”
William Kelly, Police Chief of Abington, Pennsylvania
Montgomery Media, July 30, 2014

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“The new law will dramatically increase the safety of our pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Those who recklessly run red lights will no longer be tolerated. By creating awareness, people will modify their driving behavior and everyone will be safer.”
Ruth Hassell-Thompson, State Senator, New York
New Rochelle Daily Voice, July 29, 2014

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“For quite some time, the community has expressed concern with the traffic and the traffic pattern in front of the middle school. I imagine this new law will slow things down in front of this building, in turn, improving student safety for our secondary students.”
Charles Murphy, Island Trees Schools Superintendent
Levittown Tribune (New York), July 25, 2014

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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 34

July 23rd, 2014 Comments off

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Red-Light Cameras Get the Go-Ahead in New York
WNYT-TV NBC 13, July 23, 2014

Albany is one step closer to red light cameras. One day after a rally in Albany opposing the installation of more traffic cameras throughout the city, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the green light to the legislation on Tuesday. Sponsors say New York City’s traffic cameras have reduced crash injuries and violations over the past 20 years. See related articles from Long Island Business News and WDKX-Radio 103.9 FM.

Germantown Wants More Red-Light Safety Cameras
WATN-TV ABC 24 (Tennessee), July 22, 2014

More red-light cameras are coming to the Mid-South. Germantown plans to install several new ones by the end of this year. They’re targeting the town’s busiest intersections.

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Council Extends Red-Light Safety Camera Agreement
Bellevue Reporter (Washington), July 23, 2014

Bellevue City Council on Monday approved expanding the use of American Traffic Solutions’ red-light cameras in the city for the next five years, adding three more red-light cameras and an additional school-zone camera to the five currently operating in Bellevue. Police data show the number of infractions from both speed and red-light cameras have decreased from 22,798 in 2010 to 11,956 in 2013, indicating improved driver behavior. New locations listed in the city’s news release include 112th Avenue and NE 8th.

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Fayetteville’s Red-Light Camera Legislation Passes Senate Committee
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), July 23, 2014

Fayetteville’s red-light camera legislation passed the Senate Rules Committee by a voice vote this morning and likely will be heard on the Senate floor on Thursday. If it passes the Senate without modification, it will become law.

Tampa Detectives Review Red-Light Camera Tape in Child’s Death
City of Tampa (Florida), July 21, 2014

Tampa police detectives are looking for video on red-light cameras and business cameras for clues into the death of a young man who fell out of a vehicle. See related article from Tampa Bay Times.

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Cheyenne Police Watchful of Red-Light Runners
Wyoming Tribune Eagle, July 20, 2014

The Cheyenne Police Department issued 351 red-light running citations in 2013. So far this year, they’ve written 303. Earlier this month, the Department was out in force, cracking down on those failing to stop on red at several of the busiest intersections. Sgt. Tom Hood said that during the first week of June, 44 citations were issued by the patrol unit. “We had 33 the second week, then 30, and then it dropped all the way down to 15 by the fourth week,” Hood said. “I think they are beginning to get the gist of what we are trying to do here.” (Wyoming Tribune Eagle photo by Blaine McCartney)

Opelika Police Report Thousands Running Red-Lights
Opelika-Auburn News (Alabama), July 19, 2014

In the year since the city of Opelika installed red-light cameras at four intersections, there have been thousands citations issued, but the goal has remained the same. “The goal of this project is to change people’s driving behaviors, getting them to pay attention to their driving, paying attention to red lights and stopping at red lights so that their driving is safer,” said Opelika Police Capt. Shane Healey. See related coverage from WTVA-TV ABC/NBC 9.

Florida DOT Lists Intersection Safety Suggestions
Tampa Bay Times, July 17, 2014

The Florida Department of Transportation on Thursday released a preliminary list of ideas to make the intersection of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Belcher Road safer for motorists and pedestrians. One suggestion is to move the signs warning drivers of traffic cameras farther from the intersection. The study follows the May 20 death of crossing guard Douglas Carey. The 70-year-old retired police officer was killed when a car ran a red light at 70 mph, collided with another car and barreled into him.

Police Write 85 Aggressive Driving Tickets During Morning Commute
Berks-Mont News (Pennsylvania), July 17, 2014

Officers and Troopers made in excess of 75 contacts and issued over 85 aggressive- driving related citations during the July 16 enforcement period on Route 422. The enforcement wave focused on red-light running, tailgating and speeding.

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Parents Say Students’ Longer Walk to School Is too Dangerous
The Oak Ridger (Tennessee), July 21, 2014

As the mother stood and held a protest sign on the spot Thursday morning where her daughter Ashley was killed, Laurie Paine said she was protesting the school board’s decision to limit bus transportation distances to 1.5 miles or farther from school, forcing students living short of the new distance to walk to campus. Opponents are concerned about student safety.

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Speed Tickets Drop at 2 Schools, but Increase for Year
The Daily News (Washington), July 15, 2014

The number of school zone speed camera tickets rose in 2013 compared to years prior due to three new camera-enforced zones going into effect last fall, according to a Longview police report. Tickets at Columbia Valley Gardens and Mint Valley elementary schools, the location of the original two speed zones installed in 2011, fell sharply.

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ATS_Road Safety @ATS_RoadSafety  VIDEO Do’s and Don’ts of School Bus Safety! Keep our children safe! youtube.com/watch?v=MSQMIx…#StopArmSafety

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IIHS @IIHS autosafety  MT @ZeroFatalities: We’ve had #ZeroFatalities on Utah roads the last 6 days. Continue to drive safely to reach goal. pic.twitter.com/yFKfjfziIF

ATS_Road Safety @ATS_RoadSafety  We are glad ATS’ red-light safety cameras were able to aid the St. Louis metropolitan Police Departm  http://pinterest.com/pin/437412182532094867/… 

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Automatic Tolling Conversion Lessons Shared at Conference
Toll Roads News, July 22, 2014

Two months after converting to all electronic tolling (AET), Orange County’s Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) offered the tolling industry some hard-won lessons on managing customer experience during the changeover.

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Drivers Cheer Cash-Free Tolling on Tobin Bridge
The Boston Globe (Massachusetts), July 21, 2014

After years of planning, months of construction work, and a weeks-long trial run with new license plate detection equipment, the Maurice J. Tobin Memorial Bridge officially switched to cash-free tolling Monday morning, and, just as promised, morning rush hour traffic moved a little faster than usual. (The Boston Globe photo by Jessica Rinaldi)

Prediction: Automatic Tolling Privacy Fears Will Fade
San Jose Mercury News (California), July 18, 2014

A Los Angeles study found that up to 30 percent of drivers fear Big Brother and view FasTrak as an invasion of privacy, but I predict that will change. There are now nearly 2.7 million FasTrak transponders in use in the Bay Area, a huge leap from 2001, when there were 183,820.

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Texas Sends $2.50 Invoices, Bills Oklahomans
KXAS-TV NBC 5, July 16, 2014

“Free rides” will be fewer and farther between for Oklahomans and infrequent toll road users on the North Texas Tollway Authority’s roads. The NTTA has lowered its threshold and is now billing all drivers who carry a balance of at least $2.50, or three toll trips, on their accounts.

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Commentary: Highway Cameras Might Just Save a Few Lives
The Record/NorthJersey.com (New Jersey), July 18, 2014

It may be weeks, even months, before authorities can determine what led a tractor-trailer to veer off southbound Route 17 onto the shoulder near Bergen Avenue and into the unmarked cruiser where Waldwick Patrolman Christopher Goodell was using radar equipment to control chronic speeding there. Thursday’s tragic loss of one of their own made some police officers think seriously about at least one other method to root out speeders – cameras.

Commentary: Traffic Fatality Is Painful Reminder
KELO Radio 1320 AM/107.9 FM (South Dakota), July 17, 2014

The death of a 22-year old bicyclist is the latest traffic tragedy to rock Sioux Falls. Yesterday’s accident comes on the heels of a tragedy that killed a 33-year-old woman while pulling her two children on a bicycle in southwestern Minnesota. Everyone in this city is in such a rush. Speeding and red-light running have become more frequent. Many drivers are distracted by cell phones. Yesterday’s death should be a sad reminder to all of us to slow down and be more vigilant.

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Letter to the Editor: City’s Camera Program is Lawful, Necessary
Bradenton Herald (Florida), July 22, 2014

Sunday, my wife and I almost had an accident as we arrived at the intersection of 59th Street and 21st Avenue. A gentleman ran the red light and stopped in the middle of our lane. … That person should have been ticketed but was not because of no camera. That re-enforces my vote to continue with the program.

Letter: Cameras Allow Police to Fight Violence
The Chicago Tribune (Illinois), July 22, 2014

I was struck by what was not mentioned in your series regarding the red-light camera system: the amount of police personnel time and cost that was avoided by not having them sit waiting to ticket violators. No question the camera system should be fixed and accurate, but given your other front-page news about murders and shootings in the city, I believe the cost trade-off is worthwhile if it allows the police to fight the shooting epidemic infecting the city.

Letter: Keep Red-Light Cameras to Deliver Deserved Punishment
The Star Ledger (New Jersey), July 21, 2014

Those who run red lights are breaking the law, period. Any continued conversation is for personal gain: Whether it’s politicians who want to do away with red-light cameras to win votes, or politicians who want to keep the cameras for revenue, or drivers who want to get rid of them so they won’t have to pay for getting caught.

Letter: Red-Light Cameras Get Support
The Tribune-Review (Pennsylvania), July 16, 2014

Regarding the July 9 letter “Red light cameras:” The author opposes red-light cameras, saying ticket cameras increase accidents, injuries and fatalities. I’ve been fortunate enough to pause at a green light only to see two cars blow through their red. It’s happened many times. I could have been the fatality. So I’m not sorry if chronic red-light runners get caught by the cameras.

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“Anything that we can do to calm the traffic and save lives is of course good. Essentially it’s about traffic safety.”
Ernie Davis, Mayor of Mount Vernon, New York
WDKX-Radio 103.9 FM, July 23, 2014

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“The two generalities … is that the number of citations issued per month is, after a year, is starting to drop. People are getting the point that these cameras are there, they’re seeing the signs and they’re seeing this is the real deal.”
Shane Healey, Police Captain with Opelika Police Department
Opelika-Auburn News (Alabama), July 19, 2014

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Washington
City of Bellevue Police data show that the photo enforcement cameras now in place generally have changed driver behavior and increased safety. The number of infractions from both speed and red-light cameras have decreased from 22,798 in 2010 to 11,956 in 2013. SOURCE: City of Bellevue News Release, July 23, 2014.

 

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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 33

July 16th, 2014 Comments off

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Fatalities Precede Decision to Extend Speed Cameras’ Enforcement Time
WTOP-Radio 103.5 FM (Maryland), July 16, 2014

Speed cameras near the University of Maryland will soon be working around the clock, a reaction to three pedestrian fatalities this year. The College Park City Council unanimously approved a resolution from Mayor Andrew Fellows to extend the cameras’ hours. See additional coverage from The Baltimore Sun and hear reaction from parents of victims at WTOP-Radio 103.5.

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5 Cameras in 5 Months See 41,000 Speeders by N.Y. Schools Before June
New York Post, July 15, 2014

New York City issued 41,000 caught-on-camera speeding violations from mid-January to the end of May, when five school zone speed safety cameras were in operation. In June, with 20 speed cameras in use in school districts, the city issued 48,000 tickets to vehicles driving more than 11 mph over the speed limit. This fiscal year, about 75 percent of all fines for speeding, running a red light and driving in a bus lane resulted from violations captured on cameras — up from 38 percent 15 years ago. See related coverage from WNYC and Daily News.

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Judge Rules Fred Meyer Crosswalk a Legal School Zone
Federal Way Mirror (Washington), July 9, 2014

Federal Way Municipal Court judges recently ruled that, yes, drivers of Federal Way can get a speeding ticket from traffic cameras at the Saghalie Middle School crosswalk by Fred Meyer.

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Authorities: Car Runs Flashing Red Light, Collides with School Bus
WHEC-TV NBC 10 (New York), July 16, 2014

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, a car ran a flashing red light at Scottsville-Mumford and Wheatland Center roads Wednesday afternoon. Police said the car collided with a school bus carrying around 35 children, who were on a field trip. About five children were taken from the scene to a hospital with what deputies said were minor injuries. Police said the driver of the car suffered serious injuries. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital. See related coverage from Time Warner Cable News.

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Red-Light Safety Cameras Go Into Effect in Osceola County
WFTV-TV Channel 9 (Florida), July 15, 2014 

Osceola County’s first two red-light safety cameras caught 75 culprits in the last 30 days, but up until now, the drivers were just given warnings. Starting Wednesday, July 16, the grace period ends and police will start giving out tickets. See related press release from Osceola County.

Red-Light Cameras Could Be Coming to New Rochelle, Mount Vernon
News 12 Westchester (New York), July 15, 2014

The cities of New Rochelle and Mount Vernon both got approval from the state Legislature to install red-light cameras, which are meant to cut down on red-light runners. Gov. Andrew Cuomo must first sign the bills, and then vendors need to be hired before cameras can be installed.

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City Wants to Use Red-Light Running Fines to Improve Parks, More
Bay News 9 (Florida), July 13, 2014

Town officials have taken note, and are proposing the “Grow Kenneth City” project to revitalize major corridors, parks, and neighborhoods. Kenneth City wants to use red-light running fines to pay for the revitalization and beautification process. See related article in Tampa Bay Times.

Man Gets 12 Years in Red-Light Running Traffic Death
The Star-Telegram (Texas), July 11, 2014

A 24-year-old man with multiple convictions involving alcohol was sentenced on Thursday to 12 years in prison for driving drunk and then slamming into a 71-year-old motorcyclist, killing him. The driver ran a red light at Alta Mere Drive and Calmont Avenue, in Fort Worth. He was going about 90 mph when he slammed into motorcyclist Richard Franklin Lynn, a crash recorded by a red-light camera.

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Renton Adding Red-Light Safety Camera
Kent Reporter (Washington), July 11, 2014

The City of Renton is adding an additional red-light photo enforcement camera at the intersection of Southeast 176th Street at Benson Road South/108th Avenue Southeast. An analysis of this intersection found that on average, 47 vehicles fail to stop for the red traffic control signal during a 24-hour period. (The Seattle Times photo by Mark Harrison)

Sarasota Police Warn of Telephone Scams
Mill Valley Patch (California), July 10, 2014

Sarasota Police Department is warning of a new twist on an old scam. Someone is targeting drivers, claiming they owe money for running a red light. Police said if you do receive a ticket for running a red light, you would not receive a phone call requesting you to use a pre-paid card.  See related article in Mill Valley Patch.

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ATS Primary Logo

American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is pleased to announce its new agreements with the City of Lake Forest Park, Washington, and Clayton County, Georgia. Both clients chose to renew their current road safety camera programs. Lake Forest Park agreed to a new five-year term of operation, while Clayton County exercised its first amendment to the annual contract, extending its program for another year. ATS is honored to remain a partner in road safety with the City of Lake Forest Park, Clayton County and all of its customers.

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Oklahoma Drivers Can Soon Use PikePasses on Texas Toll Roads
News9.com (Oklahoma), July 14, 2014

Beginning on August 10, drivers with PikePasses will be able to travel, unimpeded on toll roads, bridges and tunnels in the Dallas metroplex. Texas drivers with TollTags will also be able to use their passes on Oklahoma’s turnpikes.

Tollbooth Scofflaws Are Multimillion-Dollar Headaches
CQ Roll Call, (Washington D.C.), July 8, 2014

All-electronic tolling  saves time and money — no more old-fashioned toll plazas at which drivers stop and idle, and no more toll collectors whose salaries and benefits must be paid over decades of service — but toll-road authorities need to put resources toward ensuring that people pay up, said Robert Poole, director of Transportation Policy at the Reason Foundation.

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NCSR @SaferRoads More than 50% of teen drivers killed in 2012 were not wearing a seatbelt. Find out more w/ GHSAHQ  #GettingItToClick  bit.lyW3Vmn5.

ATS_Road Safety @ATS_RoadSafety In 2012, +7.3 million U.S. red-light running violations involved #DistractedDriving via @SaferRoadsUSA & @focusdriven.

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Letter to the Editor: Columnist Wrong about Red-Light Cameras
Sun Sentinel (Florida), July 11, 2014

Regarding the June 25 commentary, “Legislature must end red-light camera scam,” I suggest Randy Schultz spend several days at different, busy intersections before espousing such words of wisdom. During early-morning rush hour, it was immediately apparent to me that these red-light cameras had a positive impact.

Letter: Return Red-Light Cameras to Houston
The Houston Chronicle (Texas), July 11, 2014

I am writing to you about a trend I see that appears to be getting worse since the red-light cameras were turned off: a greater number of red-light runners. Prior to the red-light cameras, it was unusual to see a red-light runner, a scary sight to watch, which can be devastating if you’re hit by one. Now that the red-light cameras have been turned off, I see two, three or four cars running a red light at a time.

Letter: The Fix for Speeding? Enforce the Laws
Northwest Valley Newspapers/YourWestValley.com (Arizona), July 11, 2014

I could not agree more with Glenn Haynes’ letter on July 5 about the traffic issues in Sun City West. The issues are primarily a disregard for traffic laws in general. I witnessed the following on July 6 at Aleppo and R.H. Johnson. The light was red for Aleppo and as I slowed, the driver in front simply crossed on the red light. He/she could not be bothered for the light to change. This is the same intersection that had a red-light running fatality last year.

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“It makes sense to do them when there are the most pedestrians in the area and when the danger is the greatest. Most of the accidents that have occurred this year are late at night when the cameras are not active.”
Patrick Wojahn, College Park Council Member on extending speed safety camera enforcement time
WTOP-Radio 103.5 FM (Maryland), July 16, 2014

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“We have carefully thought out each of the three school zones that were selected, based on volume of traffic, numbers of ongoing violations and the risk to students. … As police chief, it is my hope that the drivers focus on practicing safe driving through the Saghalie school zone as all of our school zones to keep our school children safe.”
Andy Hwang, Federal Way Police Chief
Federal Way Mirror (Washington), July 9, 2014

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Florida
Osceola County’s first two red-light cameras caught more than 70 culprits during the past month, when warnings without fines were issued. SOURCE: WFTV-TV Channel 9, July 15, 2014.

New York
The first five of New York’s school zone speed safety cameras issued 41,000 tickets from mid-January through the end of May. In June when 15 more cameras became operational, more than 48,000 tickets were issued. SOURCE: New York Post, July 15, 2014.

About 75 percent of all fines for speeding, running a red light and driving in a bus lane in New York are now the result of violations captured on cameras — up from 38 percent 15 years ago, according to data the Independent Budget Office released Tuesday. SOURCE: Daily News, July 15, 2014.

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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 32

July 9th, 2014 Comments off

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2 Busy Tampa Intersections to Get Red-Light Cameras
Tampa Bay Business Journal (Florida), July 8, 2014

Tampa will add six new red-light safety cameras later this month bringing the citywide total to 55. Police monitoring the cameras will begin issuing tickets at the newly monitored intersections on July 11. (The Tampa Tribune photo by Jay Conner)

Intersection Changes Can’t Come Fast Enough
WTSP-TV CBS 10 (Florida), July 8, 2014

There’s a push underway right now to make a dangerous and deadly Bay area intersection safer.  … Of the 153 crashes from 2009 to 2013 FDOT says nearly half of them were rear end collisions. One driver is accused of speeding through a red light at the intersection at 70 miles an hour. The chain reaction crash in May left Doug Carey, a crossing guard, dead. See related article from WTSP-TV.

Phenix City, Ala., Adding More Red-Light Cameras
WRBL-TV CBS 3 (Georgia), July 8, 2014

Phenix City has added two new red light cameras at two intersections. The city now operates three cameras after installing their first camera at Broad Street and 13th Street last year. There were 50 crashes in the year before the camera went up and 32 crashes the year after, a 36 percent reduction in crashes. Opelika also operates four red-light cameras.

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Facts on Federal Way’s Road Safety Cameras
Federal Way Mirror (Washington), July 7, 2014

Did you know the city of Federal Way has generated $8.62 million in eight years from its traffic cameras, accidents have decreased as a result of their presence and there were 24,454 traffic violations in 2013? Mirror staff asked the Federal Way Police Department for more information regarding its Traffic Safety Photo Enforcement Program. Read on to learn more:

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Speed Safety Cameras to Be Installed in 12 New Areas in Chicago
WLS-TV ABC 7 (Illinois), July 5, 2014

The city has named 12 new locations it will install speed cameras at through the fall. The areas are all “Children’s Safety Zones,” or areas around schools or parks, the Chicago Department of Transportation said in a statement. See related article in Chicago Sun-Times.

Sioux City Police Chief Says Speeders Will be Ticketed
Sioux City Journal (Iowa), July 5, 2014

Sioux City police say they have ways of getting around a new South Dakota law designed to keep that state’s drivers from getting ticketed by automated traffic cameras. … Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young said,  “People in South Dakota need to understand that this is not a free pass that you’ve gotten from your government.”

Traffic Safety Puts Change on Radar in Pennsylvania
TribLive/Trib Total Media (Pennsylvania), July 5, 2014

Pennsylvania is the last state in the country to forbid local police from using radar for speed enforcement, but that could be changing. A Senate transportation committee hearing in Harrisburg in June renewed the debate with one big difference. For the first time in more than 40 years, state police support the idea of local police use of radar or the newer laser-based, speed-enforcement system known as LIDAR.

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School Chiefs Favor Speed Camera Plan
Elmont Herald (New York), July 8, 2014

Al Harper, Patrick Manley and Dr. Ralph Ferrie, the superintendents of the Elmont, Franklin Square and Sewanhaka school districts, respectively, all said they believed New York’s school zone speed safety camera program would yield positive results and help make school zones safer.

 

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Iowa City School Bus Cameras Will Be Watching Motorists
The Gazette (Iowa), July 8, 2014

By the time the next school year rolls around, Iowa City Community School District buses will be equipped with external-facing video cameras to help catch those who disobey the law.The so-called stop-arm cameras will help document violations when motorists pass a school bus when the stop-arm is extended.

Albemarle Supervisors OK Cameras to Catch Drivers Passing Stopped School Buses
The Republic (Indiana), July 3, 2014

Cameras will be installed on Albemarle County, Virginia, school buses to catch drivers who go around the vehicles at stops. Media outlets report that the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Wednesday to add security cameras to school buses. Albemarle County deputy chief of police Ron Lantz says the goal is to catch violators when police can’t be there.

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Toll Road Rest Stops Rev Up Services, Quality
USA Today, July 3, 2014

These are not your grandfather’s rest stops. In fact, they’re not rest stops at all, not in the sense of a traditional interstate highway rest stop, where one can find a restroom and vending machines and not much else. These are the expansive travel plazas or service plazas found only alongside toll roads, and states that have them are expanding to accommodate much higher vehicle counts than were on the roads when most first opened decades ago.

Local Turnpike Traffic Steady as Toll Rates Rise
Herald Standard (Pennsylvania), July 3, 2014

For the seventh consecutive year, those who travel the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s roads will be hit with a toll increase, though numbers show that the hikes have not reduced local travel.

 

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ATS_Road Safety @ATS_RoadSafety Do you stop for the school bus stop arm? Keep our children safe. Learn how: ATSCrossingGuard.com

 

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Commentary: Speed Cameras in School Zones Can Help Avoid Tragedies
San Angelo Standard Times (Texas), July 3, 2014

In a recent misguided rant against school zone speed safety cameras, a writer would have us believe our children are perfectly safe walking to school. If that were the true, 20 mph school zones and crossing guards would be unnecessary and parents, teachers and police would not need to remind children again and again to look both ways before crossing the street. View pdf version.

Commentary: Benefits of Federal Way’s Photo Enforcement Program
Federal Way Mirror (Washington), July 3, 2014

The Traffic Safety Photo Enforcement Program enables the city to provide ongoing, consistent enforcement at chronic, high-violation locations, increasing safety for motorists and pedestrians, including school children using the three school zones. It would be prohibitively expensive to provide this level of enforcement at these locations with police officers.

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Editorial: A Green Light for Red-Light Cameras
The Island Now (New York), July 3, 2014

In his presentation last week to the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce, Nassau County Traffic Safety Board Director Chris Minstron made a convincing case for the county’s use of red-light cameras.

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Letter to the Editor: Don’t Like Cameras? Don’t Run the Red Light
Ledger-Enquirer (Georgia), July 8, 2014

The bottom line is that these cameras really do deter traffic light violations, and they really do prevent accidents. At the first Phenix City intersection where a traffic signal camera was installed — Broad and 13th Streets — there has been a 36 percent decrease in traffic accidents, according to Police Chief Ray Smith.

Letter: Speed Cameras in School Zones Is a Smart Move
Newsday (New York), July 8, 2014

I say, kudos, for adding speed cameras in school zones. About two years ago, my neighbor Joe, who was 86, and his dog Sandy were hit by a speeding car trying to make the light in Glen Oaks Village. This was one block away from a school. I hope the $50 fine will make some people think before they speed down our residential streets.

Letter: Install More Cameras, Fences along Turnpike
Newsday (New York), July 7, 2014

As a person who works along Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, delivering for UPS, I see what happens there every day. Drivers run red lights where there are no red-light cameras. They are talking and texting on their cellphones. It’s no wonder you put your life on the line when you attempt to cross the turnpike

Letter: Put More Red-Light Cameras on the Streets
San Leandro (California), July 3, 2014

We get it, red-light ticket-holder. You are annoyed that we, the people of San Leandro, used technology to catch you. Our police officers are busy catching car thieves and muggers. First you complained about the cost of the ticket. We know you are actually complaining about getting caught in the first place. We know this because you don’t give us a price you are willing to pay. The fine needs to hurt to work.

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“A school safety report indicates 200 motorists per hour exceeded the posted speed limit by 25 miles per hour. I thank Governor Cuomo for approving this pilot program, as it protects our children and serves as an important message to motorists to exercise care in our school zones.”
Ed Mangano, Nassau County Executive
Elmont Herald (New York), July 8, 2014

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“Any time there is video surveillance, it makes evidence stronger for prosecution purposes.”
Scott Gaarde, Iowa City Police Sergeant
The Gazette (Iowa), July 8, 2014

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“Intersection traffic safety cameras have practically eliminated complaints about vehicles blocking intersections at the busiest congested locations, improving traffic flow and safety.”
Andy J. Hwang, Federal Way Police Chief
Federal Way Mirror (Washington), July 3, 2014

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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 31

July 2nd, 2014 Comments off

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Independence Day Travel Poses High Risks to Motorists
WTLH-TV FOX 49 (Florida), July 2, 2014

This Independence Day, safety on the road is paramount as 41 million Americans will set out in their cars to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names the July 4 weekend as the busiest travel holiday in the country, while the National Coalition for Safer Roads ranks the Fourth of July as the second riskiest summer holiday for drivers across the country when it comes to red-light running. Drive carefully. See related article from USA Today. (Palm Harbor Patch photo by Sunde Farquhar)

3rd Victim of Hit-and-Run Crash Dies
WFLA-TV NBC News Tampa Florida, June 27, 2014

The third victim of a hit-and-run crash in St. Petersburg has died. Investigators told WFLA that a speeding Chrysler collided with a Saturn that was turning left to enter a parking lot on 16 Street South.

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Cameras Could Catch Speeders in School Zones
Times Beacon Record (New York), July 1, 2014

Suffolk County is one step closer to installing speed cameras in some school zones, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation that authorizes their use on Long Island. (Times Beacon Record photo by Elana Glowatz)

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Bethel School District to Install School Bus Safety Cameras
The News Tribune (Washington), July 2, 2014

The Bethel School District is preparing to crack down on drivers who pass school buses when they’re stopped to drop off or pick up students. American Traffic Solutions will install its school bus safety cameras on 10 out of about 200 school buses — at no cost to the district — in a program that will test the new system. (The Seattle Times photo by Lindsey Wasson)

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Wednesday morning to approve a program that will catch people speeding past school buses. It would put cameras on the outside of the buses to capture the license plates of offenders – and deal out some big fines.

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Stop-Arm Cameras Reducing Passing Violations, Study Shows
School Bus Fleet, July 1, 2014

American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is helping school districts across the country protect children from drivers who fail to stop for school buses, according to a new analysis of ATS’ CrossingGuard school bus safety camera programs in operation. (Image by WJXT-TV Channel 4)

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ATS Acquires Rent A Toll
Automotive Fleet, July 1, 2014

Toll management service provider American Traffic Solutions (ATS) has acquired Rent A Toll, which provides toll management solutions to commercial and car rental fleets, the company has announced.

Illinois Tollway Offers Independence Day Holiday Travel Tips
Illinois Tollway, June 30, 2014

The Illinois Tollway suggests holiday drivers get an early start on Thursday and Friday. More than 5.5 million vehicles are expected to travel the Tollway system this Fourth of July holiday from Thursday, July 3, through Sunday, July 6. The heaviest travel is anticipated on Thursday, July 3, when more than 1.8 million vehicles are projected to be on the road. On an average day, about 1.4 million vehicles use the Tollway.

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Traffic, Toll Rates, Debt Payments Rise on Narrows Bridge
The News Tribune (Washington), June 27, 2014

Even though traffic across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge over the last year was slightly higher than predicted, a 25 cent toll increase for the eastbound span was started July 1 to help keep pace with increasing debt payments. … The majority of toll revenue still comes from vehicles with electronic transponders, who pay the least to cross. (The News Tribune photo by Janet Jensen)

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ATS_Road Safety @ATS_RoadSafety @AAASafety: 34.8 mil will travel by automobile this #4thofjuly. Drive safe and #StopOnRed usatoday.com/story/travel/n… via @USAToday.

Neil Arason @neilarason @ATS_RoadSafety 99% of drivers who received and paid a ticket for illegally passing a school bus did not do it a second time. Amazing!

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Letter to the Editor: Appreciating Red-Light Cameras
Newsday (New York), July 1, 2014

In response to the letter on the red-light cameras and violating rights . . . how about cameras in the tunnels and bridges leading into and out of the city? Should we get rid of them also? Or ATM and bank cameras? Should we not use those images to catch anyone ripping off a bank customer or the bank itself? The solution is simple: Don’t do anything stupid or illegal, and you have little to worry about.

Letter: Johnny Leadfoot
The Times-Tribune (Pennsylvania), July 1, 2014

A recent letter asserting “proof” that red light cameras “increase accidents, injuries and deaths” piqued my curiosity. The author states that, at intersections with an unusually high number of collisions, “even without corrective steps, accidents will likely fall back to the average or mean number of collisions.” My question is how those intersections became unsafe in the first place and what is the origin of this magical force that visits intersections and makes certain that accident numbers are properly distributed around the mean?

Letter: Red-Light Cameras
The Kansas City Star (Missouri), June 30, 2014

If someone breaks a law, we do not care whether the arresting officer is with the city police department, the county sheriff’s department, the state highway patrol or a federal agency. We only care that the criminal is properly apprehended. So what’s the objection to red-light cameras? If a scofflaw is running red lights, endangering the life and welfare of others, he or she needs to be caught and punished.

Letter: Death on Hempstead Turnpike
Newsday (New York), June 29, 2014

The tragedy of the 13-year-old girl killed by a hit-and-run on Hempstead Turnpike further shows that we need to share the roads equitably between motorists and non-motorists. Full-time monitoring of intersections would enlighten authorities to the areas where jaywalkers impact the flow of traffic. At first, people will grumble about the higher level of monitoring, but like the intersections where red-light cameras are installed, violations would decrease.

Letter: Ways to Increase State Revenue
The News Journal (Delaware), June 29, 2014

Since we are daily hearing or reading about the need to raise taxes or “close a shortfall” in our budget, maybe it is time for our leaders to come to the people to ask for suggestions. Here are some I could offer (if asked). I  applaud the red-light cameras – and think we should have them at every intersection. Traffic lights and stop signs no longer seem to mean anything; perhaps a hit to the wallet would get their attention. Our police force has enough to do without baby-sitting drivers at every intersection.

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“This is a significant step forward in enhancing student safety. Our bus drivers have been reporting a troubling number of these violations. We are extremely fortunate there has not been a serious accident involving children, and our intent is to do all we can to reduce that risk.”
Dean Tistadt, Chief Operating Officer with Albemarle County Public Schools, Virginia
WVIR-TV NBC 29 (Virginia), July 2, 2014

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“This law is a tremendous victory for parents and students across both New York City and Long Island. We know that when drivers know they might get caught, they slow down.”
Jeff Klein, New York State Senate Majority Co-Leader
Times Beacon Record (New York), July 1, 2014

 

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