Thursday, April 4, 2019

Red light cameras start operating in Colorado Springs on April 9

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 5:31 PM

Watch out that you don't run a red light at two intersections starting April 9.

Red light cameras will be watching eastbound traffic at Platte Avenue and Chelton Road and westbound traffic at Briargate and Lexington boulevards. The cameras snap a photo of drivers that run the lights and the city will issue a citation that will cost $75. No points will be assessed.
click to enlarge WALTER BAXTER
  • Walter Baxter
The city's goal with the red light cameras' is to protect drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians from injuries and crashes caused by motorists who blast through red lights, the city said in a news release.

Former Mayor Steve Bach abolished the red-light program in 2012. But former Police Chief Pete Carey — who didn't initially object to removing the cameras —  proposed bringing them back in 2017.

Now, the city has installed the cameras at the two intersections as a first step to bringing back the program. Later this spring, two more intersections will be fitted with the cameras. Those are the northbound lanes on Academy Boulevard at North Carefree Circle and the southbound lanes on Academy at Dublin Boulevard.

Eventually, 10 red light cameras will be installed across the city. The other six sites will be identified in the future.

However, the city will give a 30-day grace period before tickets are issued. For the first two cameras, the grace period lasts until May 8, and motorists captured by the red light cameras running a red light will be issued a written warning by mail.

The city stresses in the release that only drivers who enter the intersection after the light has turned red will get a ticket. Any verified violations captured at the first two intersections on May 9 or later will be issued a citation and fine. With each new intersection to use this technology, a new 30-day warning period will take effect before fines will be issued.

Cameras operate 24-hours-a-day, and signs posted along the street will alert drivers the cameras are in use. For more information click here.

In the release, Police Chief Vince Niski noted that 2018 had the highest number of traffic fatalities in Colorado Springs.

"Intersections can be one of the most dangerous places in the city for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists,” he said. “Our goal is to reduce the number of red-light runners, thus decreasing the number of violations and their potential for crashes and injuries on our roadways. We want drivers in Colorado Springs to stop on red, drive attentively and follow the rules of the road.”

The city chose the locations based on crash data and where the technology would have the most impact. Colorado Springs contracts with Verra Mobility as their red-light safety camera vendor.

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