“They’ve done what they were intended to do, which was to change behavior at those intersections,” Roswell Police Chief Duane Orrick said. “Now we’ll look at other locations to enhance safety there.”
Motorists at Holcomb Bridge Road and Ga. Hwy 9 and at Holcomb Bridge and Mansell roads are in camera view every time they traverse the intersections.
The owner of any vehicle photographed out in the intersection when the light turns red can expect a $70 traffic ticket in the mail. Installed in 2008, the purpose of the lights are to stop drivers from running red lights and make the intersections safer for everyone, said Julie Brechbill, the city’s community relations manager.
“Once the cameras are up and people are aware of them, the number of red light runners decreases and the intersections become safer.” The numbers clearly demonstrate the cameras’ effectiveness.
“Since 2008, at these locations, the number of citations for running red lights has been reduced by 74.3 percent,” Orrick said. In the first year the cameras were in place, there were 21,524 violations, Orrick said. In 2011, that number fell to 5,537.
Orrick acknowledged that in the minds of some, red light cameras “are all about the money” they bring in. “In my mind, they’re all about safety. It’s not about how much money you pay for a ticket, it’s about all the money you shouldn’t have to pay in medical costs, insurance hikes and repairs if running the light causes an accident.”
The contract company, American Traffic Solutions, has made some suggestions for camera locations at other intersections based on factors such as traffic volume and crash data, the chief said. The intersections include Warsaw Road at Holcomb Bridge Road and a couple of locations on Ga. Hwy 92. The police department is also researching additional locations, the chief said.
The city’s contract with the camera provider is up at the end of the year and that is the time frame for any decisions on relocations. If Roswell officials do want to move the cameras, the city will have to prove to the state that it has done all in its power to mitigate accidents associated with red light running at the cameras’ potential new locations.
“We can’t just arbitrarily decide to put cameras somewhere,” Orrick said.