City readies red-light cameras

Drivers may be a little more cautious in the future, as the city has approved the installation of up to 20 red-light cameras at its most accident-prone intersections.

The City Council moved 5-2 to sign an agreement with Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. to study up to 20 of the city’s highest priority intersections to determine if they’re viable candidates for red-light cameras.

Within four to six weeks, the City Council will review the results of the survey and approve the locations that will receive cameras.

Each camera will cost about $5,900 per month to operate, city officials said, and the city can decide to terminate the agreement if it opts to not keep the cameras.

Out of the 10 intersections in the city with the most collisions from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2008, nine were along Beach Boulevard.

The 10th was at Brookhurst Street and Adams Avenue.

From Nov. 1, 2007, to Nov. 1, 2008, the police department investigated 3,038 traffic collisions; 553 were caused by red-light runners, according to the city.

Without the cameras, enforcement of red-light violations is limited because police officers must observe the violation from behind, then go through a red light to apprehend the red-light runner, the city said.

State law requires that signs must be installed to warn pedestrians of red-light cameras, and that only warning notices may be given for the first 30 days of their use.

City officials said at the meeting that the program is geared toward improving safety, not revenue generation.

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