Red light cameras seen as effective - Montgomery Alabama news.

Red light cameras seen as effective

Posted by Samuel King - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Red light cameras have become a part of the landscape at many intersections in Montgomery.  But have they made those intersections safer?

The Montgomery Police Department says yes.  It cites statistics that show since the cameras were installed the number of traffic fatalities in the city have dropped from 36 in 2007 to just 8 last year.

"When you put the new cameras up, you see reduced speeds all over town," said Capt. John McCall, of the Montgomery Police Department.  "And that's what we're looking for; we're trying to change driver's behavior."

The city plans to install eight new cameras at these locations:  Troy Highway at South Boulevard, East South Boulevard at Troy Highway, Mobile Highway at Selma Highway, West Boulevard at Birmingham Highway, Vaughn Road at Ray Thorington Road and Troy Highway at Taylor Road.

"It's a force multiplier for us, because basically there's a police officer sitting at every intersection there's a camera right now," Capt. McCall said.  "And I couldn't do that with the equipment and manpower I have in the traffic division."

Those who have been caught by the camera's flash have mixed opinions on whether the cameras work.

"I'm just more cautious not to run red lights or to go when it's yellow and it does turn red," said Marquis Hogue.  

"It makes you more skittish about do you slam on brakes or do you go? What do you do when you're like right there in the middle, and you don't want to do," said Donna Allen.

The cameras cost about $90,000 to equip and install at an intersection.   That cost is covered by the company that produces them.  In exchange, the city sends the company a piece of the revenue from citations.  That revenue is estimated at $350,000 over the past three years.

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