Red light camera enforcement begins at Richmond intersection - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Red light camera enforcement begins at South Richmond intersection

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

After years of talk and planning, it's finally here—now, if you run a red light in Richmond, you could end up on camera and with a ticket. The city's first red light cameras are up and running at the intersection of Elkhardt and Hull Streets on the south side.

This intersection is consistently among the top ten in terms of crashes in the city each year. Last year, there were 16 wrecks here. The police department says the purpose of the cameras is to decrease that number.

The thirty day warning period began Monday, after that Richmond's red light traffic camera initiative will be up and running.

Some advocates say they aren't convinced on the program. AAA Mid-Atlantic wants to make sure the motives are pure.

"We're simply calling on the city to honor their pledge to make the City of Richmond's red light camera program about safety and not to be sucked into the money that can be made," Martha Meade explained.

The ticket is $50. We've learned the money goes to pay a monthly fee to Redflex, which is the contracted camera company. Then, the city would get any extra dollars.

We crunched the numbers from a study the city did during four hours on a Saturday in February when it would have cited 49 cars for violations. That would lead to 17,885 tickets a year, which adds up to $894,250 in fines. If you subtract the monthly fees, the projected revenue for the city for just one year at just one intersection is at least $780,490.

We asked the city to respond to critics.

"The police department recognizes this is another tool for traffic safety, not so much enforcement,"
 Lt. Billy Kelly said. "If we don't charge one person or issue one summons at this location, the police department will be happy."

Planning for the initiative took longer than expected. As we've reported, officials asked the city auditor to make sure there were no problems with the Redflex contract before moving forward.

It's important to note, the citation doesn't go against your driving record, it doesn't add any points and the violation is attached to the vehicle, not the driver.

Officers say the next intersection likely to get a camera is at Belvidere and Leigh, but there's no time frame for that installation.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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