A red-light camera will be turned on at a third Colorado Springs intersection next week, though only warnings will be issued for the first month, police say. The camera is the latest installment in the city’s safety measure aimed at last year’s record number of traffic deaths.
The camera, which will start monitoring red-light runners Sept. 1, is at the northbound approach of Academy Boulevard and North Carefree Circle, police spokesman Lt. Jim Sokolik said in a release. Drivers caught on camera running red lights there during September will be issued a warning by mail. Beginning Oct. 1, a $75 citation will be issued.
The other two red-light cameras, that went into operation in April, are at the eastbound approach to Platte Avenue and Chelton Road and the westbound approach at Briargate Boulevard and Lexington Drive. Each intersection is marked to warn motorists the cameras are present and live, the release stated.
“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,” Police Chief Vince Niski said in a statement.
“We want drivers in Colorado Springs to stop on red, drive attentively, and follow the rules of the road.”
This year, 29 people have died in crashes in Colorado Springs. Last year saw a record of 48 traffic-related fatalities.
Some residents, though, are skeptical to the effectiveness of the cameras. In 2017, when city leaders finalized plans for the cameras, many people reminded police that the cameras have been tried in the past and discontinued as ineffective.
Cameras were installed at four intersections in 2010, but removed the next year. Data showed they did little to minimize crashes and weren’t worth the two full-time officers and half-time sergeant assigned to monitor them, former Police Chief Pete Carey said at the time.
But those cameras weren’t in effect long enough to prove they could work, Carey said.
The new program, he said, also would take a different approach. Instead of ticketing cars for stopping too far into the intersection, the new cameras would aim to catch drivers who don’t come to a stop, therefore endangering others, Carey said. Tickets won’t be issued until the video has been reviewed.
Another camera will go live this year at the southbound approach to Academy and Dublin boulevards, Sokolik said.
Six more cameras will be installed, but the locations have yet to be finalized, the release stated.
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