MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - New data indicates red light traffic cameras have decreased traffic citations and the number of collisions at intersections in Montgomery, according to Lt. Stanley Rucker with the police department.
"It's cutting down on collisions. It's cutting down on injuries at these intersections. It's cutting down on major incidents at these intersections," Lt. Rucker said.
The cameras were initially installed in 2008 with 13 cameras at 13 intersections. The department now oversees 34 cameras at 20 intersections.
MPD spokeswoman Martha Earnhardt said that the original 13 intersections recorded a total of 274 crashes the first year alone and from 2012 to 2016, the 34 cameras have recorded a total of 258 collisions for the full four-year period.
"That doesn't even account for the increase in traffic and number of registered vehicles on our roadways," Earnhardt added.
Rucker said from 2008 to 2016, 88 percent of the drivers who received a ticket from a red light camera were less likely to get a second citation.
According to the department, the program is intended to save lives by decreasing collisions and is not in place to produce revenue by issuing more tickets.
"It's drawing attention to the fact that people don't like getting tickets," Rucker said. "It doesn't care who you are, race or gender bias. It doesn't care. It's basically providing you a service, and it's keeping people safe."
However, the department acknowledges there is still work to be done. While there are decreases, there are three busy Montgomery intersections where the department would like to see even fewer collisions: Vaughn Road and the Eastern Boulevard, Taylor Road and Troy Highway, and Taylor Road and Vaughn Road.
"Those numbers are down, but those are the intersections where we see the most accidents occur," Rucker said.
There are also areas, like where drivers turn onto Eastchase Parkway from Taylor Road, where ongoing construction forced the department to take the cameras down. Rucker said many drivers have complained about the intersection and requested the lights be put back up. He said as soon as the construction is done and the resources are available, putting cameras up in these areas will be a high priority.
Earnhardt said the placement of the cameras is not random, instead is based on data collected by the state about drivers' behavior. Both she and Rucker said many citizens have supported the program, many requesting the footage for insurance claims.