ATS’ Newsletter, Issue 17

Red-Light, Speed Safety Cameras Share Credit for Drastic Decrease in Traffic Fatalities
The Washington Post, April 1, 2011

Speed cameras and red light safety cameras are effective deterrents to fatal roadway crashes, which fell to their lowest number since 1949, according to Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. Harsha included the camera programs in her list of changes that helped protect lives on the nation’s roads in 2010. The number of people killed in roadway collisions dropped to 32,788 in 2010, the lowest total in more than 60 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association announced on Friday. “The big reasons (for the decline) are programs aimed at driver behavior, safer vehicles and safer roads,” Harsha said.  

In a separate statement, David Kelly, executive director of the National Coalition for Safer Roads, expanded on the role road safety camera programs have on changing driver behavior, and making traveling safer in the United States. Read statement.

Red Light Safety Camera Program Wins Court Opinion

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous opinion validating the legality of service contracts between cities and safety camera companies. Issued on March 31, the ruling confirms what clients and communities have long held, that photo enforcement is a legal, successfully proven method to enhance road safety. Read statement.

Naples News photo by David Albers
ATS field technician Israel Rodriguez goes sky-high earlier this year to install red light safety cameras in Naples, Fla. Collier County is entering the third year of its road safety program.

Hamilton Township in Atlantic County, N.J., has executed a five-year contract for a road safety camera program with American Traffic Solutions. 

Lake in the Hills, Illinois, has signed a one-year contract extension with American Traffic Solutions as its red light safety camera vendor.

Colorado Springs police will put their new mobile speed van to use this month. Speeding drivers will receive warnings as of April 5. Officers will issue tickets starting May 5. School zone violations carry an $80 fine., March 30, 2011.

Orlando City Council members voted this week to add five red light safety cameras to some of its busiest intersections. There are 17 cameras installed., March 29, 2011.

The Borough of Roselle Park, N.J., begins its 30-day warning period on April 1., March 29, 2011.

Frisco, Texas, entered its ticketing phase on March 28. Fines for running a red light are $75. Frisco Enterprise, March 28, 2011.

@kmbc SUV Runs Red Light, Crashes Into School Bus: Kansas City, Mo., police said an SUV ran a red light at Independenc…

AP photo
Children board a school bus in Washington State where officials are discussing whether to use cameras to enforce traffic laws for the protection of students around school buses.

Proposal to Put Traffic Cameras on School Buses Makes Progress
The Herald, (Washington), March 30, 2011

A bill motoring through the Legislature would allow school buses to be equipped with automated cameras that snap pictures of the offending vehicle’s license plate and forward them to law enforcement.

Speed Van in Colorado Protects School, Residential Zones, March 30, 2011

Colorado Springs police now have a state-of-the-art mobile speed van to photograph license plates of cars speeding through residential areas, construction zones, and the perimeter streets of parks and school zones.

Lawmaker Addresses School Zone Speeding Concerns
Dover Post/ (Delaware), March 29, 2011

Legislation introduced on Tuesday would allow Delaware municipalities to install camera systems to catch speeding drivers within a quarter mile of a school or work zone.

Letter to Editor: Frequency of Speeding, Light Running Demands Cameras
Columbia Flier/ (Maryland), March 24, 2011

I’m appalled every time I pass through a school zone (or more importantly, pass through my kids’ school zone) and constantly see cars going 10-15 mph over the speed limit.

Traffic Fatalities Reach 35-Year Low in Washington
The News Tribune, March 30, 2011

Transportation officials say the steady decline in traffic fatalities is a  product of the state’s public education campaigns, highway safety projects and strong enforcement of traffic laws.

Motorcyclist Hospitalized in Red-Light Running Crash
The Arizona Republic, March 29, 2011

Police say the motorcycle rider ran a red light and collided with a pickup truck on Tuesday afternoon.

Road Safety Cameras Remain a Possibility in Mukilteo (Washington), March 29, 2011

City Council members voted 4-3 last week to delay enacting the traffic camera ordinance sponsored by anti-tax activist Tim Eyman, saying they want to wait for the state Supreme Court’s ruling on traffic safety cameras expected in May and want to know more about using speed compliance cameras in school zones.

Township Forsees Safer Roads with Red Light Cameras
Asbury Park Press (New Jersey), March 29, 2011

Ocean Township officials hope to become the first Monmouth County municipality to install red-light cameras, at three intersections along Route 35.

The News Tribune photo

City Steps Up Pedestrian Safety Efforts
The News Tribune (Washington), March 29, 2011

Signs warning “Stop here on red” are popping up at some of Federal Way’s busiest intersections to remind drivers to make complete stops at red-light, right-hand turns so they don’t hit pedestrians.

Orlando Sentinel photo by Red Huber

Editorial: Stop the Red Light Camera Repeal
Orlando Sentinel (Florida), March 30, 2011

This nonsensical repeal drive — fueled by specious concerns over privacy, errant ticketing and the devices doubling as municipal moneymakers — would put Florida back on a deadly road.

Letter to Editor: Traffic Enforcement Is Important for Safe Roads
The Times-Picayune/ (Louisiana), March 29, 2011

Every parish expects its chief law enforcement agency to provide proper traffic enforcement. Though it is deemed not catching “the real criminals,” it does act as a deterrent to those traffic lawbreakers who would love to have no enforcement.

Commentary: Like Seat Belts, Red Light Safety Cameras Make Sense (Ohio), March 28, 2011

Sometimes I wonder whether Ohio’s laws on traffic lights say: “Green means go on through. Yellow means hurry up. Red means floor it.” That’s how it seems when you’re sitting at a Toledo intersection, waiting for the light to change, and somebody in a hurry races through on his red.

Editorial: Lawmakers Need to Stop Dangerous Red Light Bill
Johnson City Press (Tennessee), March 28, 2011

A state legislative panel deferred action last week on a bill to no longer require motorists in Tennessee to come to a complete stop before turning right at a red light. … Send this bill directly to the dust bin.

Letter to Editor: Come on Redmond, Support Red Light Safety Cameras
Redmond Reporter (Washington), March 24, 2011 

No one is looking at the safety problems that the naysayers to red light safety cameras should be aware of. The only things that they are focusing upon is the probability that they will be ticketed for a minor traffic infraction that can and will kill someone. Rolling stops also are extremely serious and illegal.

Orlando Adds 5 Red Light Safety Cameras
WOFL Channel 35 (Florida), March 29, 2011

The city of Orlando is adding five new red light cameras to two major intersections.

50 and Counting: New Orleans Adds to Its Road Safety Camera Program
WWLTV Channel 4, March 23, 2011

Since 2008, the city has used controversial cameras to catch red-light runners and speeders. A recent push to halt the program ultimately failed, and in the time since, the city has added more cameras, stirring mixed emotions across town.

“There is absolutely no downside to moving forward with getting this technology in Ocean. It could only be a benefit in reducing the carnage at those three intersections.”
Antonio V. Amodio Jr., Ocean Township police chief
Asbury Park Press (New Jersey), March 29, 2011

“I think it’s a terrible thing to even attempt to repeal the red light camera bill. It’s a public safety thing. It saves life.”
Michael Fewless, Orange County Sheriff’s Office captain (Florida), March 29, 2011

“We always wonder whether this crash could’ve happened if there were red-light cameras.”
Tim Bedwell, North Las Vegas Police spokesman
Las Vegas Sun (Nevada), March 26, 2011

“As a father, it’s frustrating to see it. People are violating the law. People are not getting caught and this is about protecting our kids.”
Steve Hobbs, Washington state senator and sponsor of legislation to use cameras on school buses to detect traffic violators.
The Herald (Washington), March 30, 2011

Asbury Park Press photo by Robert Ward
Ocean Township, N.J., will vote this month on a road safety camera program.

New Jersey
Three Route 35 intersections under consideration for red light safety cameras saw collisions rise 22 percent in 2008 over 2007, from 129 to 157, and 34 percent in 2009 to 210. Ocean Township, N.J., will vote in April on pursuing state approval for a road safety camera program. SOURCE: Asbury Park Press, March 29, 2011.

Plainfield Police say car crashes have decreased 37 percent and 31 percent at separate intersections since red-light cameras were installed in December 2009. SOURCE: Chicago Tribune, March 29, 2011.

Red light safety cameras have reduced collisions by 33 percent in the city of Orlando. SOURCE: WOFL Channel 35, March 29, 2011.

Between 2002 and 2008, there were 290 accidents in Federal Way involving cars striking pedestrians. Six pedestrians were killed. SOURCE: The News Tribune, March 29, 2011.

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