Red Light Cameras for Hinesville? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/02/05

Red Light Cameras for Hinesville?

When yellow turns red, and you see no blue, you may think you've gotten away. But running a red light in Hinesville could soon be trickier than that. Many people on both sides of the traffic ticket think cameras could be the answer.

Ask drivers in Hinesville and they'll tell you their streets aren't for the faint of heart.

"My thing is, if you can learn to drive in Hinesville, you can drive anywhere," said resident Jessica Sitton.

"I see people speeding all the time, running red lights," said fellow resident Elyse Hawkins.

The City of Hinesville may soon install cameras at traffic lights that would photograph license plates. Police would then mail a ticket to the red light runner. While they haven't decided on a make or model, they'd resemble cameras already used in Savannah and other cities.

"That's ridiculous," said resident Vicki Smith. "We don't need that in Hinesville."

The intersection of General Screven Way and Highway 196 is one of Hinesville's busiest. Police say for the population there, this spot is as congested as any big city.

"We have 31 or 32,000 people in the city in about 16 square miles, so traffic is pretty heavy most any day," Chief George Stagmeier of Hinesville PD said.

And city council member Steve Troha added, "We've got a couple of intersections, we've seen 70 accidents at the two combined. We need to change some driving habits for some folks."

Troha says police could concentrate their labor on other problems if the eye in the sky teaches people to stop.

They're still studying which intersections need cameras and whether they can afford this at all. The council will discuss the idea and decide soon. But at least the chief and Councilman Troha are interested.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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