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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 38

September 3rd, 2015 Comments off

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ATS Urges Safety on the Road This Holiday Weekend

More than 35 million Americans will travel 50 miles or farther this Labor Day weekend, and nearly 9 out of every 10 travelers will be on the road. It’s little wonder Labor Day falls within the most dangerous 100 days of driving in America, and ranks as the second highest summer holiday for red-light running violations. American Traffic Solutions urges all drivers to be careful on the road so that everyone may have a safe and enjoyable holiday. Please, stay alert behind the wheel, avoid distractions, abide by the speed limit and by all means stop on red.

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New Report Could Put Speed Cameras on Fast Track
CBS News (New York), Sept. 2, 2015

A new report could put speed cameras on the fast track. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) believes that if the nation had a speed camera program like Montgomery County, Maryland, 21,000 deaths or serious injuries could be prevented every year. View IIHS research paper. View ATS press release(CBS News image)

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Kansas City’s Red-Light Cameras Likely to Return with Changes
KMBC-TV Channel 9 (Missouri), Sept. 2, 2015

Kansas City is considering reinstating its red-light camera program, following a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that struck down laws in St. Louis and two other areas but allowed the camera programs to continue with changes. One of those changes is that a camera must clearly capture the face of the driver and not just the car’s license plate. Red-light violations will also now be considered full moving offenses, with points deducted from the violator’s license.

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School Zone Speed Van Issuing Warnings until Sept. 8
KVUE-TV ABC 24 (Texas), Sept. 2, 2015

Two white vans will be parked near Hays County schools this year, marked with signage that the equipment inside is monitoring the speed of other motorists. The program is set up to keep children safe. … “Traffic congestion is growing. We want to get ahead of the curve, and I applaud our Commissioners Court for looking at this and saying we’re not going to be reactive, we’re going to be proactive,” Hays County Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hood said. … During a trial run in Wimberly during summer school, the program caught 71 vehicles speeding. (KVUE-TV ABC 24 image)

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Drivers Endanger Students Near School Buses
Good Morning America, CBS News (New York), Sept. 1, 2015

A startling number of automobile drivers just ignore the rules when driving near school buses, putting children’s lives at risk. … School buses have these flashing stop signs that just come out but for some reason tens of thousands of drivers just keep going. … Maryland bus drivers reported that vehicles illegally passed them 2,796 times. And 83 of those times they were passed on the right side where children get on and off the bus. (ABC News image)

 

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Why Speed Cameras Should Not Annoy You
East Idaho News, Sept. 1, 2015

Police get it: Speed cameras can be pesky. “Nobody has ever really liked getting a ticket — whether it’s from me or from a camera,” Montgomery County Police Capt. Thomas Didone tells ABC News. But it turns out those cameras can reduce fatal or incapacitating injury crashes by almost 40 percent on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or below, according to a study released Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  See related coverage from ABC Radio. (KVOA NBC 4 image)

Study: Montgomery County Speed Camera Program a Model for Nation
The Washington Post (District of Columbia), Sept. 1, 2015

The best proof yet that automated speed cameras curtail the urge to speed will be presented Tuesday at a convention in Nashville. The detailed research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety focuses on Montgomery County, Md., which began using speed cameras in 2007. The report says the county’s cameras have reduced by 59 percent the urge to drive more than 10 mph above the speed limit.

 

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School Zone Speed Cameras Return to Action
The Daily News (Washington), Aug. 31, 2015

Drivers passing through six Longview school zones have two choices: Drive 20 mph or less, or pay $124. School-zone speed cameras will resume nabbing speeding with the start of classes on Sept. 2. (The Daily News image by Roger Werth)

 

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Driver Cited in School Bus Crash
Lake News Online (Missouri), Sept. 2, 2015

The driver of a pickup truck that rear-ended a school bus in Eldon Monday and sent five children to the hospital with minor injuries has been cited for careless and imprudent driving. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the 53-year-old driver failed to stop for the school bus, which was stationary as it was preparing to discharge students.

 

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Newburgh Mayor Wants Road Safety Cameras
Mid-Hudson News (New York), Sept. 3, 2015

Any municipality in New York that would like to establish red-light cameras must secure state legislative approval. In the city of Newburgh, the issue has been discussed for the last couple of years and Mayor Judy Kennedy said she would like to see them not just for traffic light enforcement but for speeding as well. (WNYT-TV NBC 13 image)

Wallkill Will Try for Red-Light Cameras in New Year
Mid-Hudson News (New York), Aug. 31, 2015

Efforts to have the state legislature approve red-light cameras for the Route 211 shopping center district in the Town of Wallkill will resume next January. If approved in Albany, the Wallkill plan would start with two cameras and go up to four.

Tamarac Brings Back Its Red-Light Cameras
Sun Sentinel (Florida), Aug. 31, 2015

Tamarac’s red-light camera program is back. Last week, city officials approved an amended agreement with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) that allows the city to turn back on the red-light cameras that were switched off in May this year in the aftermath of the Fourth District Court of Appeals in West Palm Beach ruling that Hollywood had outsourced too much of its red-light camera program to a private company. Assistant City Attorney Shana Bridgeman said the city will continue to assert in court that its program is different from the one that was in existence in Hollywood.

Murfreesboro Extends Agreement with ATS
Daily News Journal (Tennessee), Aug. 28, 2015

The City Council agreed to extend its red-light camera contract through March 10, 2016, after learning that crashes have declined. “Make no mistake about it gentlemen, the system is working,” Murfreesboro Police Chief Glenn Chrisman told the council.

 

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IIHS @IIHS_autosafety How speed cameras could dramatically cut road deaths in the US. http://ht.ly/RERqm

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NCSR @SaferRoadsUSA Last year, there were 35,118 red-light running violations during #LaborDay weekend. http://bit.ly/1Htew8z #BuckleUp

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Illinois Tollway to Collect Tolls on I-90 Exit
Daily Chronicle, Sept. 1, 2015

Drivers will start paying to exit Interstate 90 to reach Belvidere and Genoa later this month. Tolls will be collected at the Genoa Road exit off I-90 beginning Sept. 14 as the $16 million Genoa Road Interchange project comes to a close. Toll plazas will provide an I-Pass or Pay Online lane and a coin machine. (Illinois Tollway image)

Toll Authority to Survey Cash-Paying Customers
The Spring Observer (Texas), Aug. 30, 2015

As the Harris County Toll Road Authority moves toward converting the Houston Ship Channel Bridge plaza and the Hardy Toll Road to all-electronic tolling, it is seeking to better understand cash users’ preferences and reasons for not using an EZ TAG.

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Commentary: Be Watchful Around School Buses
The Free Press/Kinston.com (North Carolina), Aug. 31, 2015 

If we look carefully at the statistics, we find school buses are one of the safest forms of transportation. In fact, a 2008 study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that of all fatal crashes since 1998, only 1,409 were school-related crashes, less than one-half of 1 percent of all fatalities. But despite that reassuring statistic, the fact is every person who dies is 100 percent dead. When the victim is a child, we move from sadness and regret to a genuine sense of tragedy.

Commentary: Speed Camera Saga Continues
The Daily News (Washington), Aug. 30, 2015

The city of Longview is in its fourth year of a photo enforcement program aimed at slowing drivers in school zones.  …. Since the start of the program, the police department has seen a positive change in driver behavior with less speeding by adult drivers. Could this possibly be due to the fact that the resulting fine lets people know the city is serious about student and pedestrian safety?

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Editorial: Students’ Safety Depends on Drivers’ Smarts
Staten Island Advance (New York), Sept. 1, 2015

Caution is what’s required to protect school kids, who as often as not don’t look both ways while crossing streets. Remember, it’s against state law to pass a stopped school bus while it’s loading or unloading passengers. But too many drivers here and elsewhere don’t care.

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Letter to the Editor: Abide by Traffic Laws to Avoid Tickets
Sioux Falls Argus Leader (South Dakota), Sept. 1, 2015

I would like to address the so-called problem of Iowa speed cameras focused on in a recent Argus Leader article. … Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s office is now considering options to deal with this “problem?” How about advising motorists to obey the traffic laws of the state they are driving in.

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“I have lived in three other states that use cameras to regulate traffic. It has been well, well documented that it does a great job.”
Judy Kennedy, Mayor of Newburgh, N.Y.
Mid-Hudson News (New York), Sept. 3, 2015

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“If you have sustained, saturated enforcement, consistently over time, it will effectively change behavior. Random enforcement doesn’t do anything but just issue tickets.”
Thomas Didone, Montgomery County Police Captain
CBS News (Maryland), Sept. 2, 2015

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“(Hitting a child) at a higher rate of speed has a greater likelihood of injury and death. Therefore, this program is not about driver’s intentions; it is about reducing risk to our youth near the schools by reducing the speed of vehicles traveling through school zones.”
Jim Duscha, Police Chief of the Longview Police Department
The Daily News (Washington), Aug. 31, 2015

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New York
The city of Staten Island issued 32 summonses in April to drivers who were alleged to have passed stopped school buses. The one-month totals, were higher in the more populous boroughts: Manhattan, 237; Brooklyn, 201; the Bronx, 186 and Queens, 123. Source: Staten Island Advance (New York), Sept. 1, 2015.

Tennessee
According to Murfreesboro Police Chief Glenn Chrisman, the city had 628 fewer crashes at 149 intersections in the 2014-15 fiscal year than in 2007-08 at 122 intersections before the city started its red-light camera enforcement. The total was 1,692 crashes the year before the red-light cameras started, and the total was 1,064 last year. Source: Daily News Journal (Tennessee), Aug. 28, 2015.

 

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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 37

August 27th, 2015 Comments off

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See a Bus Don’t Move
Mom Blogger’s Parody Highlights School Bus Safety
NBC News Today (National), Aug. 25, 2015

As the school year begins, parents are breathing a collective sigh of relief as they send their kids back to the classroom. Still, it’s only natural to feel worried about kids’ safety on their way to school. Deva Dalporto, who blogs at My Life Suckers, takes on both the celebration of parents having kid-free time again and the importance of school bus safety in her latest parody of the 1980s rap hit Bust A Move, titled Bus, Don’t Move. … Dalporto says she partnered with American Traffic Solutions — creators of the CrossingGuard school bus stop arm that stops traffic while kids pile onto buses — to spread awareness of the dangers involved with transporting kids to school. See related coverage from Good Morning America. (NBC News image)

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Serious Red-Light Running Collision Caught on Camera
WTVD-TV ABC 11 (North Carolina), Aug. 26, 2015

New video gives us a clear look at a T-bone accident involving four cars in Fayetteville, and police say it’s the result of a driver who ran a red light at the corner of Law Road and Ramsey Street. It’s the latest release from the City of Fayetteville and its red light camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions. (ATS and WTVD-TV ABC 11 image)

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School Zone Cameras Enter 10th Year in Akron
WEWS-TV ABC 5 (Ohio), Aug. 25, 2015

The city of Akron will be deploying more than 60 traffic cameras in all school zones throughout the city for the tenth consecutive year beginning Aug. 27. The traffic camera program started in 2005 after a young boy was hit and killed in a school crosswalk. (WEWS-TV ABC5 image)

 

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Fayetteville Nabs More than 1,400 Red-Light Runners in 6 Weeks
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 27, 2015

More than 1,400 drivers have been caught running red lights in the nearly six weeks the Fayetteville Red-Light Camera Safety Program has been operating. “That’s an average of 32 violations a day,” City Manager Ted Voorhees said. (The Fayetteville Observer image)

Los Alamitos, Garden Grove Vote to Keep Red-Light Cameras
The Orange County Register (California), Aug. 26, 2015

Red-light cameras are staying put in Los Alamitos and Garden Grove, the last two Orange County cities still using the devices. … Council members cited safety, cost-effectiveness, and major traffic within Los Alamitos — considered a gateway city into the county — as reasons for their vote.

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Tamarac Poised to Turn Red-Light Cameras Back on
Sun Sentinel (Florida), Aug. 24, 2015

The city briefly halted its red light camera program, but the cameras could be turned back on as early as Wednesday. The Tamarac City Commission agreed to vote Wednesday on reviving its cameras with tweaks that are “considered to be cures” to make the program legal, said Mark Mason, the city’s finance director. Commissioners said they are ready to try again. (RSI note: The motion passed 5-0.)

Lincolnwood Renews Contract with ATS
The Chicago Tribune (Illinois), Aug. 21, 2015

The village of Lincolnwood Board of Trustees voted to renew its red-light safety camera contract with American Traffic Solutions at the Aug. 18 meeting. The village has operated one camera since 2009.

Springfield Appeals Red-Light Camera Ruling
Dayton Daily News (Ohio), Aug. 21, 2015

The city of Springfield has appealed a local judge’s ruling regarding its authority to operate red-light cameras to a state appellate court. … Springfield Law Director Jerry Strozdas said “We believe this is a power granted to the city by the Ohio Constitution. We think it’s important and it needs to be addressed.”

 

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Vehicle Crashes into SUV Stopped for School Bus
KWON-Radio 1400 AM (Oklahoma), Aug. 27, 2015

A three vehicle crash within feet of a school bus stopped for students ended without injury to students. The bus was stopped for students with a red pickup stopped in the lane next to it. The driver of a black SUV coming up on the vehicles did not stop, hitting the red pickup and forcing it to hit another red pickup. KWTV-TV Channel 9 reports the bus had its stop sign out, and the driver of the SUV was pinned for 30 minutes then flown to a Tulsa hospital in serious condition.

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Vehicle Strikes Girl after She Left School Bus
Herald Tribune (Florida), Aug. 26, 2015

A 12-year-old girl suffered minor injuries Tuesday after being struck by a hit-and-run driver who was passing another vehicle stopped for a school bus in Ellenton, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. … The girl was struck with the car’s left sideview mirror, and the vehicle continued southbound and left the scene. (WDBO-FM 96.5 image)

Bill Hiking Fines for Passing School Buses Advances
WNCN-TV NBC-17 (North Carolina), Aug. 26, 2015

A bill to increase penalties for people who pass a stopped school bus made it out of a key House committee on Wednesday despite some significant objections. …  But the bill was praised in committee by others. One lawmaker called it a bill “about the health and safety and welfare of the children who ride our school buses in North Carolina.” See related coverage at WNCN-TV NBC 17.

School Bus Cameras Increase Convictions
WLOS-TV ABC 13 (North Carolina), Aug. 25, 2015

The percentage of motorists convicted of illegally passing Buncombe County school buses has shot up over the last year. The district began installing cameras on the sides of buses last year, and officials now say the rate of convictions, for drivers who pass while students are boarding has gone up from 25 to 50 percent.

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Teen Struck by Car While Boarding School Bus
KYKR-Radio 91.5 FM (Texas), Aug. 25, 2015

A 16-year-old student suffered multiple injuries after he was struck by a car while attempting to board a Port Arthur school bus this morning. The bus driver had activated the bus’ lights and stop sign, when the driver of a car went around the bus and struck the teen. The passing vehicle driver faces possible criminal charges.

Legislator’s Bill Holds Vehicle Owners Responsible for Passing Buses
WRAL-TV CBS 5 (North Carolina), Aug. 25, 2015

Each day, about 3,000 vehicles illegally pass stopped school buses in North Carolina, putting children’s lives in danger. … State lawmakers strengthened the penalties for drivers who blow by stopped buses. Now, State Rep. Nelson Dollar is sponsoring legislation to hold drivers more accountable.

Bus Stop Running Video Prompts Pledge for Action
Metro News (West Virginia), Aug. 24, 2015

The majority leader in the state Senate is promising quick action from lawmakers on a law change that would let law enforcement officers more easily punish those who fail to stop for school buses as required by law. “We want to make darn sure with our laws that they have complete authority to utilize that information to save children’s lives. That’s our whole focus,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael said. View video here.

 

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Reminder: School Zone Speed Cameras
City of Issaquah (Washington), Aug. 24, 2015

To increase safety and reduce speed violations near several Issaquah schools, the speed cameras along Second Avenue Southeast will be reactivated Sept. 1, 2015, in conjunction with the first day of school. (The Issaquah Press image by Greg Farrar)

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Speeding, Red-Light Running Fines Go Up in Seattle
West Seattle Herald (Washington), Aug. 25, 2015

Ticket fines have gone up for school zone speeding and red-light running caught on camera in Seattle. … According to the city, the cameras may have mitigated the severity of crashes. There were fewer injury crashes and fewer persons injured in crashes at test intersections before the cameras were installed. … Results have been positive with school zone cameras as well. (West Seattle Herald image by Patrick Robinson)

 

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Radio Engineering @REIomaha
Enjoy this video, #BusDontMove. Contact @ATS_RoadSafety or Rei for more info regarding an automated stop-arm solution http://www.atsol.com/bus-dont-move-parody/_…

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Melissa Wandall @MelissaWandall Melissa Wandall retweeted Alert Today Florida. #slow down in #school zones! Thank you for all you do @AlertTodayFL @SaferRoadsUSA @ATS_RoadSafety

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Floating Bridge Set to Open Spring 2016
Bellevue Reporter (Washington), Aug. 26, 2015

Construction crews installed the last major section of the 520 bridge on Monday, one of 776 precast, interlocking roadway deck sections that will make up the new 7,710-foot-long bridge, making it the longest floating highway in the world. … A portion of the project’s revenue, about $1 billion, does come from tolling on the existing and the new 520 bridge. (WSDOT image)

Maine Toll Numbers Skyrocket
Boston Globe (Massachusetts), Aug. 26, 2015

More passenger and commercial vehicles rolled through Maine tolls in June and July since at least 2007, according to the Maine Turnpike Authority. Records show that the number of vehicles — as measured in toll transactions — driving on the Maine Turnpike has surpassed the amount before the recession hit in 2008.

 

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Commentary: Safety, Money, Data Make Cameras a Win, Win, Win
Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 27, 2015

The private company that runs the city’s red-light cameras showed off its new office on Wednesday. We stood around a monitor as office staff and Charles Territo, a spokesman for American Traffic Solutions, showed us a video of drivers running red lights in the city, day and night. Check out the YouTube video to see what we saw. It’s an education.

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Editorial: Traffic Violators Would Be Wise to Stop
Press Republican (New York), Aug. 27, 2015

Running a stop sign or red light is one of the most common moving violations in New York state. And it can be dangerous, even fatal, in a lot of cases. … If the light is red or if there’s a big red sign that says “STOP” — stop.

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Letter to the Editor: Community Wins with Red-Light Cameras
The Tampa Tribune (Florida), Aug. 22, 2015

Unfortunately for many, laws or moral responsibility do not motivate them as much as a hit on their wallet. What is a human life or that of a family worth? How about a manslaughter charge or a stretch in prison — what’s that worth? In view of the alternatives, if these things can be prevented, a $158 fine sounds like a pretty good deal. … Red-light cameras have been shown to be effective in reducing intersection crashes by almost 60 percent. That’s no small feat.

 

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“We have had a red-light running problem for years. We’re here to send a message that drivers need to change their behavior.”
Ted Voorhees, Fayetteville City Manager
Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 27, 2015

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“This safety program was begun in 2005 after the death of a 10-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in a school crosswalk, after pushing his little sister to safety. Akron’s program is used solely for the safety of its children, is only used in school zones, and only during restricted hours when school is in session.”
Jeff Fusco, Mayor of Akron
WOIO-TV CBS 19 (Ohio), Aug. 27, 2015

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“Red lights change people’s behavior and if people know they are going to run the risk of getting a ticket for blowing a red light, they are going to drive safer.”
Harry Dressler, Mayor of Tamarac
Sun Sentinel (Florida), Aug. 24, 2015

ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 36

August 20th, 2015 Comments off

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Video Released of Miami Fire Rescue Rollover Crash
NBC Miami (Florida), Aug. 14, 2015

A traffic camera video shows the dramatic crash involving a Miami-Dade fire truck and ambulance that left seven firefighters and five civilians injured. The video shows the fire truck hitting the ambulance about to enter an intersection near the Jackson Memorial Hospital. Not seen in the video is the fire truck rolling over from the impact after the collision. The ambulance was left with front end damage.

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2015.8.14_New Haven RLC Article

New Haven Officials Express Support for Red-Light Cams as Crash Map Sheds New Light on Danger
The New Haven Register (Connecticut), Aug. 14, 2015

As the 101st anniversary of the electric traffic light’s debut was marked recently, a Washington-based policy group put renewed focus on the danger of running red lights. New Haven Police Department spokesman Officer David Hartman said red-light cameras would help New Haven officers as an investigative tool to help them figure out how traffic accidents happen. And Derby Police Chief Gerald Narowski said his department would support the cameras if there was a uniform statewide policy on how to implement them.

Woman Crossing Street Killed by Driver Running Red Light: SDPD
San Diego 7 (California), Aug. 14, 2015

A woman struck and killed by a driver in San Carlos Thursday was a mother of three who was heading to Cowles Mountain, her husband told NBC 7.

Kansas City Red-Light Cameras Could Be Turned On Again
KCUR 89.3FM (Missouri), Aug. 18, 2015

Red light traffic cameras could be coming back to life in Kansas City, Missouri. The cameras have been turned off for nearly two years as the city awaited decisions from the state Supreme Court on cases challenging the constitutionality of traffic camera ordinances in the St. Louis area.

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ARlington Public Schools

New School Bus Cameras Coming to Arlington in Time for Start of Class
NBC Washington (Virginia), Aug. 18, 2015

Transportation reporter Adam Tuss explains a change drivers in Arlington will notice as students there return to school.

VIDEO: Driver blows past school bus stop sign as father helps child across the street
WOWKTV 13 (West Virginia), Aug. 19, 2015

What’s that big red flashing octagon attached to your child’s school bus? Oh wait, it’s the stop sign, but you wouldn’t know it looking at this video. A school bus camera captured the moment a driver blew past, just as a father and his children were crossing the street.

School Bus Violators: What’s being done to keep your kids safe
Toledo News Now (Ohio), Aug. 19, 2015

When a school bus stops, cars should too. In a special investigation, WTOL 11 uncovers more than a dozen videos showing drivers blowing by stopped school buses while kids are getting on and off. The problem has gotten so bad that some districts are even installing cameras on the outside of buses that activate when the stop arm is out, almost like a red-light camera, capturing the license plate of any car that flies by.

South Carolina School Bus

NC school buses passed 3,117 times on a single day
WMBF News (North Carolina), Aug. 13, 2015

Every school day in North Carolina, drivers pass stopped school buses, violating state laws requiring drivers to yield when a bus’s stop arm is extended. “Over 3,000 cars per day in North Carolina pass a stopped school bus illegally while it’s stopped to pick up kids,” said Derek Graham, section chief of transportation services at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

Caught on Camera: SC Drivers Risking Kids’ Lives
WLTX News 19 (South Carolina), Aug. 12, 2015

Drivers in our state are putting children at risk by passing stopped school buses and News 19 has the video to prove it. The Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol, and the Department of Education are teaming up to launch a school bus safety awareness campaign this week. Last year bus drivers in 28 counties were asked to count the number of passing violations they saw. In one day that number totaled 386.

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Camera enforcement in Wimberley, Dripping Springs school zones starts Sept. 8
San Marcos Mercury (Texas), Aug. 18, 2015

After a trial run caught dozens of violators at a Hays County campus last month, authorities will soon begin using camera enforcement to issue citations to drivers who speed through school zones in the Wimberley and Dripping Springs areas. A 15-day warning period will begin August 24 and beginning September 8 drivers could face actual fines. During the warning period, drivers are encouraged to adjust their behavior so they comply with the posted speed limit.

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Arlington County Schools expanding use of stop sign cameras, and fines aren’t cheap http://t.co/lNkMBc8AZA @nbcwashington @APSVirginia

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In Collin County, NTTA looks to expand pretty much all the toll roads
The Dallas Morning News (Texas), Aug. 18, 2015

The North Texas Tollway Authority board on Wednesday will decide whether to advance several toll road widening projects currently in various stages of development. That includes President George Bush Turnpike, Sam Rayburn Tollway and a portion of Dallas North Tollway that’s not already under construction.

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Our View: Violent crime spikes, but overall, city is a safer place
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 16, 2015

Even in the bad news about crime, there are positive thoughts. Violent crime in Fayetteville is up 2.5 percent in the first six months of this year. The change in police tactics has included less emphasis on confrontation and more on defusing potentially violent situations. It doesn’t count in the crime statistics, but more aggressive enforcement of traffic laws is a welcome change too. Police are nabbing speeders and red-light runners more regularly, and the return of red-light cameras is making intersections safer.

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Editorial: Pass a better red-light camera law in Kansas City
The Kansas City Star (Missouri), Aug. 19, 2015

A new Missouri Supreme Court ruling offers Kansas City officials a good road map for establishing a legal and effective red-light camera ordinance. The law should be set up to punish motorists who run stoplights, free up police officers for more important duties and, yes, even allow the city to collect some revenue to cover the system’s cost and more.

Guest Column: Douglas County needs safer streets
The News-Review Today (Oregon), Aug. 20, 2015

Fatalities are also decreasing because we’ve made safety improvements to our road design. These include but are not limited to addition of sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, visibility enhancements (e.g. street lighting and flashing crossing beacons), area-specific reduced speed limits, and traffic-calming measures like speed-bumps, red-light cameras, and neighborhood greenways. The decrease of traffic deaths seen in Oregon should be viewed as positive support to continue to make our streets safer.

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2015.8.17_Pct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant

“This technology will free up law enforcement officers to protect the public elsewhere while maintaining the priority that is our children’s safety.”
Ray Whisenant, Precint 4 Commissioner, Texas
KLBJ News Radio (Texas), Aug. 17, 2015

Councilwoman Marge Colapietro believes the program has been effective in enhancing the safety of both drivers and pedestrians in Millbrae. “It’s our due diligence in protecting everyone,” she said.
Marge Colapietro, Millbrae Councilwoman, California
The Daily Journal (California), August 13, 2015

“You might lose five minutes going to or from work or where ever you’re going, but its five minutes that could save a child’s life.” In regards to passing a stopped school bus. You could kill somebody. Its just that simple. And I don’t think you’ll want to face the parents who has lost their child in regards to your not being wiling to make a correct stop.”
David Weissman, Lexington-Richand Five Director of Transportation, South Carolina
WLTX 19 (South Carolina), August 12

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Texas
Hays County School Zone Speed Safety Camera Program issued 71 warnings in one school zone in only 10 days – from July 15-24
SOURCE: Hays County Constable Office, Pct. 3.

 

ATS’ Newsletter Vol. 5, Issue 35

August 13th, 2015 Comments off

Header VideoOfTheWeek 480

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Caught on Camera: Car Passes Stopped School Bus on Right Side
WFOX-TV FOX 30 (Florida), Aug. 12, 2015

A St. Johns County woman is shocked at what she saw on surveillance video in her neighborhood. A car passed by a stopped school bus at a bus stop on the right where children would be exiting in front of Ocean’s Edge. Parents say this happens all the time at the bus stop.

South Carolina Drivers Risk Kids Lives
WLTX-TV CBS 19, Aug. 12, 2015

Drivers in our state are putting children at risk by passing stopped school buses and News 19 has the video to prove it. “You might lose five minutes going to or from work or wherever you’re going, but it’s five minutes that could save a child’s life,” said Lexington-Richand Five Director of Transportation David Weissman.

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West Virginia Law Enforcement Crack Down on Red-Light Runners
WOWK-TV CBS 13 (West Virginia), Aug. 10, 2015

While the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office is always on the lookout for traffic violations, a program called Target Red has them on their toes this month. “It’s funded by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and there are several agencies that are participating in it. Like I said, the officers go out and do nothing but target intersections with red lights and stop signs,” said Sgt. J.H. Thaxton of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office. (WOWK-TV CBS 13 image)

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Bus Cameras Show Drivers Endangering Children on 1st, 2nd Days of School
WAGA-TV FOX 5 (Georgia), Aug. 7, 2015

Newly released video shows drivers in Atlanta whizzing and swerving around school buses at bus stops, despite very clear visual signals telling drivers to stop. The video shows the dangers at bus stops recorded on the first and second days of school.

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Tucson Ranked 9th in Nation for Red-Light Running Fatalities
KVOA-TV NBC 4 (Arizona), Aug. 5, 2015

Tucson ranked No. 9 in the National Coalition for Safer Roads report of the highest number of red-light running deaths. The coalition analyzed government statistics between 2004 and 2013 and ranked the top 10 American cities with the highest number of red-light running deaths. Phoenix was ranked No. 2.

 

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Mom Says ‘Nothing’s the Same’ after Red-Light Crash
The Town Talk (Louisiana), Aug. 10, 2015

Almost every driver knows the fear that comes with slamming on the brakes because another motorist has blown through a red light. … That scenario played out in Alexandria almost two years ago, taking the life of 27-year-old Darrell G. Jones. … “It turned my life upside down,” said Mishelle Armstrong, Jones’ mother. “Nothing’s the same.” (The Town Talk photo by Melissa Gregory)

Houston Leads Nation in Red-Light Wreck Fatalities
Beaumont Enterprise (Texas), Aug. 10, 2015

If you’ve ever come within 6 inches of being T-boned by someone intent on running a red light, here’s some news to further raise the hair on your neck: Houston leads the nation in red-light fatalities. It’s not surprising in a city where police are known to complain that a red light means, “Three more cars.” See related article at Houston Chronicle.

New Red-Light Cameras Coming to Phoenix
KNXV-TV ABC 15 (Arizona), Aug. 7, 2015

New red-light cameras are coming to the city of Phoenix. City police said they used collision data to determine where to put the new cameras.

 

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Trip to School Most Dangerous for Students at Bus Stops
WBIW-Radio AM 1340 (Indiana), Aug. 12, 2015

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a bus to school is 13 times safer than riding in a passenger vehicle and 10 times safer than walking to school. According to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s department, everyone should be aware that most of the children who are injured or killed are outside of the bus and struck by motorists passing a stopped school bus. (Stateline/Pew Charitable Trusts/AP image)

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Buffalo Parent Decries School Bus Safety
WIVB-TV Channel 4 (New York), Aug. 11, 2015

Buffalo dad Bryan Young worries for his son’s life every time he takes the bus. That’s because Young said cars repeatedly pass the bus, even when the stop lights are on. Five-year-old Carter has autism, and often has episodes. Young worries he’ll accidentally get too close to the road, and be hit by a driver who’s not paying attention.

Strong Arm of Law Points at School Bus Fly-Bys
Bureau County Republic (Illinois), Aug. 10, 2015

If you run a stop sign without repercussion, you might save a few seconds in your travels, but if you obey the stop arm each time you see a school bus, you just might save a life. Princeton Elementary School Superintendent Tim Smith indicated people disregard school bus stop arms far too frequently, and the action affects everyone involved with the situation.

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Atlanta Public Schools Installs Stop Arm Cameras
Atlanta Daily World (Georgia), Aug. 10, 2015

School districts throughout the Atlanta metro area are determined to crack down on drivers who defiantly drive past stopped school buses despite the obvious dangers. Atlanta Public Schools have installed a technology called CrossingGuard, which uses a camera to capture the license plates of vehicles that fail to stop when students are getting on and off the bus. (WSB-TV Channel 2)

Pass a Stopped School Bus and Risk a Ticket or Jail
Reporter Newspapers (Georgia), Aug. 9, 2015

Students return to school this month, which means drivers heading to work must stop when school buses do. If a driver doesn’t stop, he or she risks a ticket — and even a trip to jail.  … Between January 1 and May 5, Sandy Springs police cited 76 drivers with overtaking and passing a school bus. Dunwoody police cited three motorists, while Brookhaven police gave five warnings and cited 20 drivers with passing school buses. Atlanta Public Schools reported no citations through early May, but that could be changing as external cameras were to be added to capture photos of stop-arm violations.

 

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Pedestrian Fatalities Are on the Rise
WTOP-Radio AM 1500 (Washington, D.C.), Aug. 11, 2015

The number of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians has increased nationwide, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. According to the report, 4,735 pedestrians were killed in 2013, the most recent full year of data available. The number represents a 15 percent jump in pedestrian fatalities since 2009. Or to think of it another way: One pedestrian is killed every two hours. View report here. (WTOP-Radio AM 1500/AP photo by Don Ryan)

 

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Scott Marshall @SafeDriver Stop signs or red lights; do you stop or slow? There’s a big difference. This explains: bit.ly/bZBBbo #StopOnRed2015

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety ATS appreciates the support we have seen during National Stop On Red Week! Thank you for your participation & continue to #StopOnRed2015

 

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Contra Costa Driver Tolls on the I-680 Horizon
Contra Costa Times News (California), Aug. 12, 2015

Express lanes — toll roads for solo drivers willing to pay for speedier commutes — are about to bring Contra Costa County drivers into the world of high-tech traffic controls. Work was to begin Wednesday night on the first of three express-lane segments that in time will extend from the Benicia Bridge to the county border at Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon. (Contra Costa Times News/Bay Area News Group photo by Karen T. Borchers)

Partnership Makes E-ZPass Available at AAA Offices
The Register-Herald (West Virginia), Aug. 11, 2015

AAA offices in Beckley, Bluefield, Charleston and Russell, Ky., now have E-ZPass available thanks to a partnership between the emergency road services agency and the West Virginia Parkways Authority.

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ATS Fleet Services to Provide PlatePass All-Inclusive Toll Service to Fox Rent-A-Car
Reuters News Service, Aug. 7, 2015

American Traffic Solutions Fleet Services (ATS) is pleased to announce it has partnered with Fox Rent-A-Car to offer rental customers the convenient PlatePass All-Inclusive toll payment service. Drives may now purchase the toll service at the rental counter for one flat daily rate that includes the costs of all in-network tolls incurred during their rental.

 

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Editorial: Red-Light Cameras Aid Safety, Schools
The Fayetteville-Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 10, 2015

By the end of their first month of operation, Fayetteville’s four new red-light cameras had nabbed nearly 700 red-light runners who will each contribute $100 for their transgression. The proceeds pay for the cameras and their operations, and what’s left over goes to our school system. Sweet deal.

School’s Back in Session, Watch Out for Students
Hattiesburg American (Mississippi), Aug 8, 2015

It’s time to send our well wishes to our students, but it’s also a time to remind everyone that with the return of school is the return of school buses and a higher concentration of young pedestrians. Advocacy groups in Mississippi continue to push for legislation to enhance school bus safety.

Editorial: Drivers: Our School Children’s Lives Are in Your Hands
Times Daily (Alabama), Aug. 7, 2015

Unless you have a school-age child, you might not have noticed the school year has begun. But this affects you, because chances are you will be driving through a school zone, in traffic with those taking their kids to school, teens driving themselves and their friends to school and school buses that, as they warn on their rear panels, make frequent stops. This means a heightened sense of awareness while traveling our city streets and county roads is an obligation for all of us.

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Letter to the Editor: Red-Light Cameras
The Daily Journal (California), Aug. 11, 2015

The California Vehicle Code says that a stop sign and a red light are “absolutes,” meaning that motorists in California are required to absolutely stop at a stop sign and a red light. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is, or whether there are any other vehicles at the same intersections, all motorists are required to stop. …. The author of a recent letter to the editor thinks it’s OK to roll through stop signs and stop lights.

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“A driver needs to stop any time they see the arm out. The reason they don’t is they aren’t paying attention, or they’re being impatient. The kids might not be paying attention either, so it’s everyone’s responsibility to stop for the safety of the children.”
Tom Root, Police Chief of Princeton, Illinois
Bureau County Republican (Illinois), Aug. 10, 2015

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“After 30 days, there are no more warnings. We’re dropping the hammer.”
Darryl Tolleson, Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief, on the 30-day warning period for school bus cameras
WAGA-TV FOX 5 (Georgia) Aug. 7, 2015

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Maryland
In Prince George’s County, the number of speed camera tickets issued has dropped by one-third since 2013. In fiscal year 2013, police mailed out 360,548 speed camera tickets to drivers. Two years later, the number of tickets dropped to 240,730. SOURCE: WTOP-Radio AM 1500 (Washington, D.C.), Aug. 11, 2015.

Texas
Nationwide, drivers running red lights caused wrecks that resulted in 7,799 fatalities, according to the National Coalition for Safer Roads. Houston accounted for 181 of those deaths, the highest total among the country’s 10 largest cities. Dallas ranked No. 7, with 71 fatalities. SOURCE: Beaumont Enterprise, Aug. 10, 2015.

ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 34

August 6th, 2015 Comments off

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National Stop on Red Week Amplifies Safety Message
From Omaha, Nebraska, to Kingsport, Tennessee, and from Washington State to Florida, news agencies are talking about the unavoidable dangers of running red lights. Their interviews include injured victims, family members of persons killed and police officers who urge drivers to govern their own behavior at red lights every day. These stories and a newly released interactive map of red-light running fatalities are presented below. Stop on Red Week continues through Saturday. Continue to share the message to stop on red and then make it a part of your daily driving habits. See related press release.

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Boynton Beach Resumes Ticketing Red-Light Runners
WPBF-TV ABC 25 (Florida), Aug. 5, 2015

City commissioners decided Tuesday night 15 cameras at four intersections will start rolling again in Boynton Beach. Commissioners voted in favor of enforcing the red-light traffic camera tickets again after a nearly three-month hiatus. “The camera are on right now, we just aren’t issuing tickets. But now we can start issuing tickets,” Mayor Jerry Taylor said. See related article from The Sun Sentinel.

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Interactive Map Pinpoints Fatal Red-Light Running Crash Locations
WAGA-TV FOX 5 (Georgia), Aug. 6, 2015

Chances are you’ve witnessed someone running a red light. New numbers are shedding light on just how big the problem is. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, in a 10-year period, nearly 7,800 people were killed in wrecks caused by red-light runners. An interactive map released this week shows the number of fatalities for an area and exactly where they’ve happened, right down to the intersection. See related article from Nebraska at WOWT-TV NBC 6, from Indiana at WXIN-TV FOX 59, from Virginia at WCYB-TV Channel 5, from Seattle at KING-TV NBC 5, from Mississippi at WDAM-TV Channel 7, and from Dallas at WFAA-TV ABC 8.

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Red-Light Runners Stir Attention in Fayetteville
WTVD-TV ABC 11 (North Carolina), Aug. 4, 2015

The city of Fayetteville has released “Round Two” of video from its red-light camera program, clearly showing drivers running red lights. In some cases, those drivers nearly cause serious accidents as they force other drivers to swerve and brake unexpectedly. See related coverage from WNCN-TV NBC 17 and from the City of Fayetteville.

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Neighbors on Edge over Dangerous Intersection
WTVR-TV CBS 6 (Virginia), Aug. 1, 2015

When Saturday rolls around, you’ll find Charles Gerena working in the front yard. And looking over his shoulder for reckless drivers. … Thursday, Chesterfield police said a BMW and a school bus collided at the nearby intersection. The BMW driver was given a summons for disregarding a traffic signal. “I think that’s definitely added to the concern I’ve had about the number of accidents, Gerena said.

 

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Red-Light Cameras Changing Behavior, Some Drivers Say
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 5, 2015

Four new red-light cameras captured nearly 700 confirmed violations in their first month of operation, according to Fayetteville officials. More than 600 other possible violations were still being reviewed. Meanwhile, more red-light violations are being recorded every day by the cameras placed at three busy intersections. … Workers near one intersection say they have seen and heard a change in driver behavior. (City of Fayetteville image)

Albany Increases Number of Red-Light Cameras
WNYT-TV NBC 13 (New York), Aug. 5, 2015

A new report out Wednesday morning shows thousands of people are killed each year because of accidents caused by drivers running red lights. Two more red light cameras in Albany turned on at midnight. … These new cameras join the already operational ones in the city.

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Denver in Top 10 Cities for Red-Light Running
KUSA-TV NBC 9 (Colorado), Aug. 5, 2015

Denver ranks No. 10 in the country when it comes to cities where red-light running has killed people, according to a new study. This week is National Stop on Red Week and according to the National Coalition for Safer Roads, Houston is the nation’s most dangerous city for red-light running, followed by Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Philadelphia, Tucson and Denver. (KMGH-TV ABC 7 image)

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Phoenix 2nd Worst in Nation for Red-Light Running
KPNX-TV NBC 12/The Arizona Republic, Aug. 5, 2015

It’s Stop on Red week and new stats show Phoenix is one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. for drivers. With almost 130 deaths related to red-light runners in Phoenix, we’re the second worst in the nation. “I’m not surprised. I’m originally from Michigan and the difference between red-light running here and there is crazy,” said one Valley driver.

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Google Doodle Honors 1st Electric Traffic Light
Time Magazine/Time.com, Aug. 5, 2015

Wednesday’s Google Doodle offers a glimpse of what American traffic would’ve looked like 101 years ago, when the world’s first electric traffic light was installed. The device, the predecessor to what is used worldwide today, was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, on Aug. 5, 1914 at the corner of 105th and Euclid. (Image by Google)

Lake Forest Park Adds Red-Light Safety Camera
City of Lake Forest Park (Washington), Aug. 4, 2015

As part of the city of Lake Forest Park’s plan to help mitigate traffic safety concerns, address the increase in traffic volume and improve pedestrian safety, a new traffic safety red-light photo enforcement camera is being installed at the intersection of NE 170th Street and SR 522. “Photo Enforcement” signs have been posted in the area.

Red-Light Cameras Should Easily Pay for Themselves
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), July 31, 2015

The city of Fayetteville said its red-light cameras ticketed 268 red-light runners in two weeks. At that rate, the city could raise more than $452,000 for the Cumberland County schools’ general fund. More importantly, camera vendor American Traffic Solutions officials say wide use of the cameras reduces the number of red-light runners over time and that will save lives. … The city this week posted a 55-second video of drivers running red lights, and it promptly went viral on Facebook.

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Red-Light Camera Images, a Part of Murder Investigation
WTVJ-TV NBC 6 (Florida), July 31, 2015

A Crime Stoppers tip led police to a man whose violent crime spree in a Sunrise neighborhood culminated in the shooting of a father of two, police said. … The tip gave officers the suspect’s name, but detectives had a slew of evidence and helpful information, including video from red-light cameras and nearby businesses.

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Judge Rules in Favor of ATS, Other Vendors, 28 Texas Cities
SysCon Media/MarketWired, July 31, 2015

American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the nation’s leading road safety camera provider, applauds the recent U.S. District Court decision to deny a motorist’s claims against ATS, other safety vendors and 28 Texas cities on the grounds that they did no harm to the motorist.

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Texas Is Lenient State for Reckless Driving
Fort Worth Star Telegram, Aug. 2, 2015

Texas has a reputation as a law-and-order state, but when it comes to speeding and reckless driving it’s more of a hands-off place. That’s according to a new data project by WalletHub, a social media company that often analyzes consumer financial and government matters. The company’s study found that Texas is the most lenient among all 50 states and the District of Columbia when it comes to passing laws against speeding and reckless driving and punishing violators. “If you’re concerned about safety, this is a concerning ranking,” WalletHub spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez said. (USA Today image by Erich Schlegel)

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Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Speed Cameras
KSCJ-Radio 1360 AM (Iowa), Aug. 1, 2015

A federal judge has ruled in favor of the use of traffic cameras in Iowa. Judge Charles Wolle dismissed a lawsuit by seven Iowa residents who claimed the city of Des Moines violated their constitutional rights by operating an automated speed detection camera on Interstate 235. In an order filed Friday, Judge Wolle says that previous rulings by the Iowa Supreme Court and another federal judge in Cedar Rapids establish the camera’s legality.

 

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School District Pleased with Camera Results, Expands Program
WCSD-TV CBS 2 (Nevada), Aug. 5, 2015

The next time you want to pass a school bus with its lights flashing and signs out, you might want to reconsider. The Washoe County School District has added exterior cameras as an extra safety feature. The county announced it’s happy with the results of a camera trial period and will be implementing cameras district-wide.

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To Stop or Not to Stop
School Transportation News, Aug. 3, 2015

School districts nationwide regularly seek out new technology and apply it to ensure that children are kept safe. To guarantee this security is a cornerstone of well-managed school systems. … One such solution American Traffic Solutions provides is the CrossingGuard School Bus Stop Arm Enforcement System, an automated platform that uses high-resolution cameras that capture images and video of vehicles that pass the stop-arm illegally. (ARLnow.com image)

Bellevue School Buses Get New Cameras, Parents Grateful
KPTM-TV FOX 42 (Nebraska), July 31, 2015

New technology might now make it easier for your child to get to and from school. It comes in the form of high-definition cameras the Bellevue School District is now adding to its buses.

School Bus Cameras Put Arlington Drivers on Notice
Inside NOVA (Virginia), July 31, 2015

Efforts by Arlington’s police and school system to rein in those improperly passing stopped school buses are beginning to pay dividends. Just weeks after installing the first cameras on the stop arms of six buses in the fleet, nearly 50 warning notices have been or are in the process of being mailed out. With the start of school on Sept. 8, civil fines of $250 will be assessed.

 

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety 3.7 Million drivers ran red lights in 2014. Most drivers frequently run red lights in the afternoon. #StopOnRed2015

 

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Frisco Police @FriscoPD Safety is the responsibility of every driver, not just during #StopOnRed2015 week, but every day.

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U.S. 74 Toll Lanes Could Cost 24 Cents a Mile
The Charlotte Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 5, 2015

The N.C. Department of Transportation estimates the peak toll on proposed U.S. 74 express lanes will be 26 cents a mile, which would make a one-way trip about $1.50. The state is planning to add express toll lanes in the media of U.S. 74, from uptown to Wallace Lane. The project could be completed in two years. (The Charlotte Observer photo by Jeff Siner)

Construction to Start on Toll Expressway in San Ramon Valley
Pleasanton Weekly (California), Aug. 5, 2015

The project to bring toll express lanes to Interstate 680 through the San Ramon Valley is expected to start construction this month, with completion estimated for late next year. … The congestion-relief project would replace existing HOV lanes with express lanes over a 23-mile distance. The express lanes would be free to access for carpools, vanpools, public transit, motorcycles and eligible clean-air vehicles while other solo drivers could pay a toll.

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Editorial: Red-Light Cameras Verify Dangers on Our Roads
The Fayetteville-Observer (North Carolina), Aug. 2. 2015

No more whining about red-light cameras, please. If you’ve seen the YouTube video of egregious red-light runners here in our fair city, you know we need all the crackdown we can get. It’s pretty amazing stuff — drivers speeding through intersections long after the lights turned red, sometimes after cross-street traffic has started to move. … In the first two weeks of full operation at only three intersections, the cameras nabbed 268 sure-thing violators.

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Letter to the Editor: Photo Enforcement Belongs on Highways
The Arizona Republic, Aug. 4, 2015

Speed enforcement on our highways was very successful when cameras were utilized as a tool to assist patrol officers. Photo enforcement should be reintroduced in selected areas, but this time do it properly, not as a revenue enhancer, but simply to save lives.

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“The whole idea is to get people to stop running red lights and killing people. If $158 will keep someone from killing someone, I’m all for it.”
Jerry Taylor, Mayor of Boynton Beach
The Sun Sentinel (Florida), Aug. 4, 2015

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“This isn’t about intent, it’s about recklessness. When you see the lights of a school bus, you know there are kids in the road.”
Jonathan Long, Bucks County prosecutor
The Morning Call/Calkins Media (Pennsylvania), Aug. 1, 2015

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“Last year, we recorded more than 160 incidents of drivers blowing by the stop signs on our buses. The cameras that we’re getting will help promote safety and make people aware.”
Rich Casey, Bellevue School District transportation director
KPTM-TV FOX 42 (Nebraska), July 31, 2015

 

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Florida
In Boynton Beach, the number of red-light running violations increased 59.6 percent since the cameras were shut off from issuing tickets in April compared with the same time last year, according to a Boynton Beach Police Department report. Source: The Sun-Sentinel, Aug. 4, 2015.

North Carolina
During the first 27 days of its new red-light safety camera program, the city of Fayetteville reports the issuance of 687 citations from July 8 to Aug. 3. Source: WNCN-TV NBC 17, Aug. 4, 2015.