City on Red Light Camera: Revenue Up, Violations Down - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/04/04

City on Red Light Camera: Revenue Up, Violations Down

Most of us have sped through an intersection when the light is yellow. But if you've put the pedal to the metal lately at White Bluff and Abercorn in Savannah, chances are you were issued a citation. The new red light cameras have not only given the City of Savannah some serious revenue, they're also helping to solve a very serious problem.

"The traffic was going through slow and I saw the flash and said, 'Oh no! Here comes a ticket,'" said driver Gary Burson.

The ticket has cost Burson, and thousands of others, $70 apiece. Now that more than 4,000 of those tickets have been issued the City of Savannah is raking in money one vehicle at a time. Thanks to the red light cameras catching it all on film,  more than a quarter million dollars in citations have been mailed out, and that's just over a three-month period. And more than half that amount has been paid up.

But the best part is that violations have dropped from 52 a day to about 30, and most important, accidents at this intersection have dropped more than 15 percent. "We anticipate those daily violations to continue to drop as people change their behavior and realize that you can't run the red light there," said the city's Sean Brandon.

The more motorists that run this red light, the more of these cameras we'll see. With the money that's being generated by violators, the easier it will be to catch them doing this very thing at other intersections.

City officials say the next red light camera will be installed at the intersection of Abercorn and DeRenne a couple of months from now.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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