Caught On Tape; Red Light Cameras Capture 260 Red Light Runners In Montgomery

New Red Light Cameras Capture More Than 260 Violators In Montgomery
New Red Light Cameras Capture More Than 260 Violators In Montgomery
A worker installs an intersection camera.
A worker installs an intersection camera.

Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- It's a first hand look at what the red light cameras can do.

"It's going to be real simple," said Captain J.M. McCall of the Montgomery Police Department.

So easy Captain McCall says it'll only take a minute to view each video to see if the driver in question ran the light. That's one of the things Capt. McCall learned about the system today as part of his training.

"We'll pull up the picture first on the list," McCall said at his computer.

The process is fairly straight-forward. Officers like McCall will log on, pull up the pictures the cameras captured and then make a determination whether the driver ran the light.

"He did proceed on through the intersection. We go to step 4 and look at the video, hit 'accept' and that's it," McCall said.

And just like that the red light company out of state will send the driver a ticket in the mail. Right now only warning citations are going out.

"We're not trying to make any money. We're trying to change bad habits," McCall said.

That may be true but there is no doubt the city will see the money, potentially a large amount that could one day come in handy as the city battles a $9 million shortfall thanks to a drop in sales tax revenues.

"We could see $800,000 a year but we won't spend that money because we expect litigation on the red light cameras and we expect the courts will rule in the city's favor," said Michael Briddell, Executive Assistant to Mayor Bobby Bright.

Currently there is no law on the books that prohibits cities from using red light cameras to nab violators.

Traffic investigators say there could be a few rear-end collisions. In fact, they expect them, but they still maintain the red light cameras are worth the cost.

"It's a lot safer, too. A lot of times I'm standing on the side of the road with traffic going by," McCall said.

Is it foolproof? Capt. McCall says as far as he knows it is. It all starts for real on May 1.

Fines on the first two offenses will be $50. Your third ticket will cost you $100.