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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 7, Issue 17

August 17th, 2017 Comments off


Driver Caught on Camera Passing School Bus on Shoulder
NorthEscambia.com (Florida), Aug. 17, 2017

A Cantonment driver was caught on camera passing a loading school bus on the grassy shoulder of the road. The incident happened just after 7 Tuesday morning. In the photo, a student can been seen boarding the school bus as the Honda Pilot approached the front of the bus. (NorthEscambia.com image)

 


Cars Speed Through School Zones
WDSU-TV NBC 6 (Louisiana), Aug. 15, 2017

The city of New Orleans recently increased the amount of traffic cameras around the city, including many in school zones. In an effort to show the danger of speeding, the Orleans Parish School Board released video of motorists speeding through school zones. School zone speed limits are 20 mph, but many cars can be seen going more than 40 mph in the video that was released. The lights on the school zone signs are visibly turned on. See related coverage at The Times Picayune.  (WDSU-TV NBC 6 image)


Red-Light Cameras to Address Red-Light Running Epidemic
KENS-TV CBS 5 (Texas), Aug. 8, 2017

It’s easily one of the most frustrating roads that runs through the San Antonio area: Bandera Road, specifically the stretch between Loop 410 and Loop 1604. In fact, the congestion has gotten so bad that the Leon Valley police chief said it has led to an “epidemic” of red light runners. That’s why red-light cameras will be going up soon.  See related coverage at Laredo Morning Times/LMTonline.com  (KENS-TV CBS 5 image)


5 Additional Red-Light Cameras in Use in Fayetteville
WNCN-TV CBS 17 (North Carolina), Aug. 8, 2017

Drivers in Fayetteville need to make sure to keep an eye on the city’s newest red-light cameras. The five new cameras installed around the city became operational last week and police said the grace period they were giving drivers in those areas is now over. (WNCN-TV CBS 17 image)

 


Amarillo City Council Votes to Keep, Expand Camera Program
KFDA-TV CBS 10 (Texas), Aug. 15, 2017

Red-light cameras will be around Amarillo for at least five more years, and there will be more of them. City Council members voted unanimously tonight to renew the city’s contract with American Traffic Solutions and to add cameras. The company currently operates nine cameras in the city at eight intersections.  (KFDA-TV CBS 10 image)

Haines City to Keep Red Light Cameras
News Chief (Florida), Aug. 15, 2017

Red-light cameras in Haines City won’t be going away soon. The City Commission voted 3-2 on Tuesday night to extend an agreement with American Traffic Solutions for three years.

   

Fayetteville’s Facebook Town Hall Addresses Red-Light Cameras
WNCN-TV CBS 17 (North Carolina), Aug. 15, 2017

Fayetteville officials are inviting people to take part in a Facebook town hall meeting about five new red-light cameras installed in the city. … “We hope to convey the rationale behind the implementation of the cameras and the benefits to resident safety,” said Kevin V. Arata, the city’s corporate communications director.

FBI Warns of Traffic Ticket Scam Targeting Teen Drivers
KNXV-TV ABC 15 (Arizona), Aug. 12, 2017

The FBI wants you to know that scammers are now targeting teenagers and using scare tactics to essentially extort money from them. … FBI Special Agent Scott Augenbaum told NewsChannel 5 Investigates, ABC 15’s sister station in Nashville, the caller might say something like this, “The other day, your car went through a red light camera. We tried to contact you. And, as a new driver, you are going to go to jail or your license will be taken away unless you pay the fine of $250.”


Tucson Ranked 9th in Most Red-Light Running Fatalities
KVOA-TV NBC 4 (Arizona), Aug. 9, 2017

Tucson is one of the top 10 cities with the most fatalities linked to drivers running red lights. The National Coalition for Safer Roads analyzed data from 2004-2013 to compile the list. Tucson ranked 9th with 61 red-light running fatalities reported in the 9-year time frame. Houston ranked first. (KVOA-TV NBC 4 image)


Photo Enforcement Funds Tapped for Seattle School Buses
SeattleMet (Washington), Aug. 8, 2017

Seattle council members back in June approved giving Seattle Public Schools $2.3 million to switch to a new two-tier bus system this fall — but the remaining question was where the money would come from. The council on Monday unanimously approved using revenue from the Seattle Department of Transportation’s photo enforcement program, using school zone and red-light cameras to issue citations for traffic safety. (KING-TV NBC 5 image)

Boynton Beach Red-Light Cameras Back in September
Palm Beach Post (Florida), Aug. 8, 2017

Boynton Beach drivers beware: After an eight-month hiatus, the city’s 15 red-light cameras will be turned back on Friday, Sept. 1. There will be a two-week warning period so drivers have time to adjust to the re-institution of the red-light camera program and modify their driving behavior, Boynton Police spokesperson Stephanie Slaver said. See related coverage at Sun Sentinel.


City of Willis Wins Appeal in Red-Light Camera Case
The Courier of Montgomery County (Texas), Aug. 6, 2017

An appeals court has sided with the City of Willis in an ongoing legal battle over the use of red light cameras and the issuance of fines associated with those cameras. … The Ninth Court of Appeals in Beaumont ruled in the city’s favor. The justices concurred with the 14th Court of Appeals ruling in Edwards v. City of Tomball, which held that a city that sets up a red-light enforcement program must establish an exclusive administrative procedure to handle disputes related to the program. The Ninth Court determined that even if the city failed to conduct a traffic engineering study before installing the cameras, “such an irregularity does not allow a party to completely circumvent or ignore the administrative procedure.”


Speeding’s Role in Crashes Bigger than First Thought, Feds Say
Governing, Aug. 14, 2017

Researchers have actually underestimated how often speed is a factor in fatal crashes, according to a new report from the National Transportation Safety Board. The finding is significant, considering that speed is already one of the most widely reported causes of deadly crashes. … The NTSB went further, by urging traffic engineers to rethink how they set speed limits and for states and localities to use speed cameras more often.  Read full study here.  (MyNorthwest.com/AP image)

Speed Camera Plan May Be on Fast Track in Pennsylvania
The Meadville Tribune, Aug. 10, 2017

The Pennsylvania state Senate in July passed legislation that would allow the Department of Transportation to install speed cameras in construction work zones. State Rep. John Taylor, R-Philadelphia, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said his committee will examine that bill when the House returns to session in the fall. The House may also look to amend the Senate plan by folding into it a separate measure proposed by Taylor to create  pilot program to use speed cameras in parts of Philadelphia, he said. … State data shows that work zone safety is a problem in Pennsylvania. The number of crashes in work zones in 2016 was the highest in the last five years and is 25 percent more than the state saw in 2012.

 

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ATS_RoadSafety retweeted NHTSA @NHTSAgov Speeding killed 9,557 people in 2015. Kill speed — not yourself.

   
ATS_RoadSafety retweeted  IIHS @IIHS_autosafety (1/2) Red-light-running crashes can be catastrophic. Red light cameras reduce crashes and save lives. ow.ly/hJhc30ep8CM

 
ATS_RoadSafety retweeted  IIHS @IIHS_autosafety (2/2) Turning off red-light cameras costs lives. Read more on this recent study: ow.ly/G1WX30ep8XG

 

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Drivers Changing Tune about I-405 Tolling
KING-TV NBC 5 (Washington), Aug. 16, 2017

Nearly two years after the Washington State Department of Transportation installed express lane tolling on I-405, drivers are beginning to change their opinions about their effectiveness, according to a new survey. For instance, 17 months ago, 87 percent of surveyed drivers did not support express lane tolling, but a June 2017 poll shows 60 percent of drivers like having the option of toll lanes. Also, earlier results showed 77 percent of people thought toll lanes on I-405 did not reduce congestion, but now, 64 percent of respondents say the lanes do help reduce congestion. Read survey here. (WDOT image)


FDOT’s 1st Toll Reader Structure Goes Up on I-295
WJXT-TV Channel 4 (Florida), Aug. 11, 2017

The first toll structure in Jacksonville in 28 years went up last weekend without any fanfare. Early Sunday morning, construction crews put up the first toll gantry on I-295. The gantry will be part of a system to electronically collect tolls for the use of express lanes that are due to open early next year, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. (WJXT-TV Channel 4 and FDOT image)

 

Editorial: We Back Traffic Cameras with Some Reservations
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Iowa), Aug. 8, 2017

Waterloo apparently will be joining other cities across the state and nation in employing cameras to ticket traffic offenders — particularly speeders and motorists who are running red lights. At the Aug. 7 City Council meeting, council members voted unanimously to approve the second reading of a proposed ordinance, which would make Waterloo the first Black Hawk County community to employ the cameras. … In the end, we believe safety factors should win out. Let’s face it; running a red light is dangerous. We grudgingly place our support behind the traffic enforcement cameras at the high-crash intersections, as outlined by Waterloo’s police chief.

 


“The children are our top priority, the teachers and the educators and the faculty are our top priority, and we want them to have a very great school year, so we’re asking people to slow down because there will be consequences for those who are speeding in our school zones creating an unsafe environment.”
Michael Harrison, New Orleans Police Department Chief
The Times Picayune (Louisiana), Aug. 15, 2017


“For me, it’s about safety; it isn’t about money. I’m for stopping people from breaking the law.”
Horace West, Haines City Commissioner
News Chief (Florida), Aug. 15, 2017


“We have noticed a decrease though, especially at our major intersections that have the red light cameras. We’ve done a couple of studies and analyzed the data and overall found a decrease in the red light running.”
Jeff Sulewski, Toledo Police Lieutenant
WTOL-TV CBS 11 (Ohio), Aug. 8, 2017

 

ATS’ Newsletter Vol. 7, Issue 16

August 3rd, 2017 Comments off

Stop On Red Week Begins August 6

For seven days beginning on August 6, numerous community leaders across the country will be reminding drivers to abide by the laws governing traffic signals. Lives hang in the balance when drivers choose to ignore red lights. This dangerous behavior caused an average of two fatalities and 375 injuries each day in the United States just two years ago in 2015. American Traffic Solutions is proud to partner with cities, towns and other communities to help reduce these dangerous crashes by changing driver behavior. Stop on Red Week emphasizes the contribution drivers themselves can make to this lifesaving cause. Please, stop on red today and every day. Additional information is available at American Traffic Solutions and National Coalition for Safer Roads.

 


Red-Light Cameras Coming Back to Boynton Beach
Palm Beach Post (Florida), Aug. 1, 2017

Boynton Beach officials Tuesday decided they want to turn on the red-light cameras — again. There isn’t an official start date yet. But when the city does begin issuing the tickets, it will be the only one in Palm Beach County to do so. (The Palm Beach Post image by Bruce R. Bennett)


Fayetteville Expands Red-Light Camera Program
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 1, 2017

Five new red-light cameras are being installed at Fayetteville intersections. The new additions bring to 15 the total number of cameras posted at 13 intersections in the city as part of an effort to stop drivers from running red lights. … Since the installation of the first cameras in 2015, there have been 33,621 incidents recorded of residents running red lights, according to the city. See related article at WNCN.com. (WNCN.com/CBS North Carolina image)

 


Crashes, Revenue Drop in Nassau, Suffolk Counties
Newsday (New York), July 31, 2017

Revenues from Nassau and Suffolk’s red-light camera programs either dropped or were flat in 2015, while the total number of crashes at intersections with cameras declined in both counties, according to new county reports. … Nassau and Suffolk officials said the drop in revenues and the overall decrease in the number of crashes shows motorists have become more aware of the cameras and are driving more carefully. (Nassau County graphic)


Red-Light Cameras Could Get 2nd Chance in Colorado Springs
The Gazette (Colorado), July 28, 2017

Red-light cameras watched Colorado Springs’ intersections for less than a year before then-Mayor Steve Bach pulled the plug on the program. But with recent changes to the technology, police say the devices might deserve another shot. (The Gazette image by Anthony Souffle)


Revived Baltimore Speed Camera Program Snaps On
The Baltimore Sun (Maryland) July 26, 2017

Baltimore will begin issuing speed camera tickets to motorists Monday, July 31, for the first time since 2013, when the cameras were shut off amid accuracy concerns. Transportation Director Michelle Pourciau said 10 speed cameras will start issuing the $40 tickets. … “We’re going to start fining,” Pourciau said. “So slow down.” (WMAR-TV ABC 2 image)


Appeals Court Rules in Favor of City on Camera Lawsuit
Southeast Texas Record, July 24, 2017

The Court of Appeals for the 9th District of Texas at Beaumont has reversed an order and rendered judgement in favor of the city of Willis in a lawsuit regarding its use of red light cameras. … The appellants argued that Luis Garcia failed to exhaust administrative remedies for the trial.

 


Return to School Means Drivers Need to Watch for Buses, Students
WXIA-TV NBC 11 (Georgia), July 31, 2017

School is back in Cobb County, and the district is warning drivers to stop for buses as they pick up and deliver students. The problem of drivers ignoring bus stop arms and flashing lights isn’t getting any better. It’s one of the many issues school bus drivers like Murl McCoy encounter. (WXIA-TV NBC 11 image)


17 Red-Light Runners Spotted in 1 Hour at 3 Intersections
NWAHomepage.com/KFTA-TV FOX 24 (Arkansas), July 29, 2017

According to American Traffic Solutions, two people died per day in the United States when someone decides to boldly charge through a red light. FOX 24’s Alex Caprariello conducted his own investigation to see how our busy traffic patterns are creating more risky drivers. … You might be surprised to hear how many red-light runners I caught during rush hour. There were 17 total between all three intersections. (NWAHomepage.com/KFTA-TV FOX 24 image)


Fayetteville Hopes More Red-Light Cameras Mean Fewer Crashes
WRAL-TV CBS 5 (North Carolina), July 28, 2017

Five more red light cameras will go online across Fayetteville on Tuesday in an effort to reduce accidents by scaring drivers straight about running stop lights. Fayetteville already has 10 red-light cameras, including one at Bragg Boulevard and Cain Road that has resulted in about 5,000 tickets being issued to drivers since it was installed two years ago. (WRAL-TV CBS 5 image)

 


Pols, Advocates Push for Speed Cameras Near Schools
Long Island City/Astoria Journal (New York), July 28, 2017

After a failed attempt to expand a state law for speed cameras in school zones, elected officials and safety advocates are fighting once again. Mayor Bill de Blasio, State Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Brian Barnwell joined transportation activists last Friday in Woodside to push state lawmakers to take up the legislation when they return to Albany next year. The mayor said speed cameras are a necessary part of his Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries. (The Long Island City/Astoria Journal image)


Pennsylvania Speed Camera Bill Gets Boost from Federal Study
Philly.com/The Inquirer, July 27, 2017

A proposal to bring speed cameras to Roosevelt Boulevard got a boost this week from a federal report encouraging states to approve the devices to make roads safer. The report, issued July 25 by the National Transportation Safety Board, “is decisive evidence that automatic speed enforcement is a critical tool we should apply towards preventing deaths and serious injuries,” Mayor Kenney said in a statement.  See related article at Automotive Fleet.  (CBS This Morning image)


Ohio Supreme Court Lifts Restrictions on Road Safety Cameras
StateNews.org/Statehouse News Bureau (Ohio), July 26, 2017

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the right of cities to use traffic cameras without certain restrictions passed by state lawmakers, saying the state law that restricts those cameras is unconstitutional. See related ATS news release.  (Statehouse News Bureau image by Daniel Konik)  

 

 


Forsyth County Schools Could Get Stop-Arm Cameras
Forsyth County News (Georgia), Aug. 1, 2017

School buses in Forsyth County may get an additional safety feature this year in an effort to curb drivers who fail to stop for children getting on and off the bus. Forsyth County Schools transportation and safety department officials and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office have been researching stop-arm cameras for school buses that catch perpetrators who fail to wait behind a bus with its stop sign on. (Forsyth County News image)


School Bus Drivers Remind Motorists to be Alert for Students
WGCL-TV CBS 46 (Georgia), July 28, 2017

School starts Monday in Cobb County, and bus drivers are reminding other drivers that cameras are watching to make sure they follow Georgia law when it comes to yielding to school buses. …  Since 2014, the Cobb County School District has used mounted cameras to capture video of drivers who fail to stop when a bus has its lights flashing and its stop sign extended. In those years, nearly 25,000 citations have been issued.  (WXIA-TV NBC 11 image)


Governor: Law Lets School Bus Cameras Catch Hurried Motorists
WUNC-Radio 91.5 FM (North Carolina), July 26, 2017

North Carolina motorists could be fined at least $400 if they pass a stopped school bus, according to a new law now in effect. Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday signed into law legislation that he suggested while still attorney general. The new law allows counties to adopt ordinances and cite motorists by using cameras installed on the stop-arms of buses. The penalties can rise to $1,000 on a third offense. (WNCN-TV CBS 17 image)

 

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ATS_RoadSafety retweeted  IIHS @IIHS_autosafety ICYMI: U.S.’s @NTSB calls for stepped up campaign to deal with speeding to reduce crash deaths. cbsnews.com/videos/study-o…


ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety Akron Plans to Bring Back Six Speed Cameras After Ohio Supreme Court Decision wksu.org/post/kron-pla… #SpeedKills #SpeedSafety

 

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Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza Reconstruction Moves Forward
San Francisco Examiner (California), July 28, 2017

The effort to replace the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza with a sleeker, taller “toll gantry” is set to move forward today. … The old toll plaza was designed for human toll-takers to collect cash from drivers. Early design sketches of the new toll gantry show a metal structure standing far taller than the existing toll plaza, a design that omits individual structures between each lane. (San Francisco Examiner image by Jessica Christian)


Testing Starts Soon on I-66 Toll Lanes
WTOP-Radio 103.5 FM (Wash. DC), July 28, 2017

Virginia drivers on Interstate 66 in Falls Church and Arlington are seeing lights, cameras and a highway department ready for action. Tolling is scheduled to begin in early December, but not before rigorous testing. The “transformation” of I-66 inside the Beltway is more of an alteration than a transformation; the highway itself will look nearly identical when tolling begins late this year. The most noticeable change has already taken place — the erection of eight new gantries suspended above I-66. (WTOP image by Dave Dildine)

Turnpike Pushes Cashless Tolling for All
Standard Speaker (Pennsylvania), July 26, 2017

Drivers who travel the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Lackawanna County and northern Luzerne County should have a quicker ride starting next spring. … The turnpike will start using a toll-by-plate system, a version of electronic tolling that works even if drivers don’t have an EZPass transponder in their vehicle.

 


Editorial: Shedding Light on Amarillo’s Red-Light Cameras
Amarillo Globe News (Texas), July 26, 2017

If the city wants to consider eliminating the red-light traffic camera program because the program carries no penalties, so be it. But to claim the city implements the program just to make money with little concern for public safety is not accurate.


Letter to the Editor: Helping to Keep Us Safe
The Gazette (Colorado), July 31, 2017

Before you get uptight about the idea of cameras clocking you at certain intersections, allow me to challenge you. I say, “bring in the cameras.” I’m all for freedom, but my views changed a few years ago when I visited Australia. … Exchanging my “freedom to speed” for the safety of the collective whole is a fair exchange. It helps keep us safe, and it will help us break the bad habit.

Letter: Survived Red Light Runner, Barely
Alaska Dispatch News, July 30, 2017

A week ago Friday, I witnessed the second close call involving a red-light runner. Everybody commented on the rampant red-light runners at every traffic light around town. Where are the police who are supposed to enforce the traffic laws? How do we get photo radar back?

 


“Most of the time folks are speeding if they run red lights and if an accident’s created, it’s a T-bone type accident, which can result in a very severe injury.”
Lee Jernigan, Traffic Engineer for the City of Fayetteville, NC
WNCN.com CBS (North Carolina), Aug. 1, 2017


“This is about safety. Our staffing is an issue, and this is just a force multiplier. It’s about keeping our public safe. It’s about people being killed in intersections, being hurt, that’s what our focus is.”
Howard Black, Colorado Springs Police Lieutenant
The Gazette (Colorado), July 27, 2017

New York
A new report shows the following decreases in crashes at red-light camera locations in Suffolk and Nassau counties. Results compare 2015 crash numbers with the 12-month period before cameras were installed:
In Suffolk County, injury crashes fell by 5%, average number of crashes at red-light camera intersections decreased 6%, and right-angle crashes decreased 35%.
In Nassau County, injury crashes decreased 43%, total crashes decreased 31% and side-impact collisions dropped by 11.3%. Source: Newsday, July 31, 2017.

North Carolina
Fayetteville was the second-worst city in North Carolina for vehicle crashes in 2011, according to state Department of Transportation data. After the first red light cameras came online, the city’s ranking improved to 16th. Source: WRAL-TV CBS 5, July 28, 2017.