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  1. #1
    Yoda of Radar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Burlingame considering red light camera

    Burlingame considering red light camera
    By Kristina Peterson
    Daily News Group

    Burlingame police will raise the idea tonight of installing a red light camera at the intersection of Broadway and El Camino Real.

    In a presentation before the Traffic, Safety and Parking Commission, a representative from the company Redflex Traffic Systems and a police officer will begin the process by presenting a short report and answering questions on the city's options.

    ``Our main goal originally was to see if there was even an intersection where this city needed a camera, so we had Redflex do a study and they found only one viable intersection: where El Camino meets Broadway,'' said Burlingame police Cmdr. Mike Matteucci.

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that nationally in 2004, crashes involving red light running killed 900 people -- half of whom were pedestrians -- and injured 168,000.

    Other California cities using red light cameras include San Francisco, San Mateo, Redwood City and Millbrae, according to the institute.

    ``It's something we'd like to explore and possibly recommend to the City Council,'' commission member Steve Warden said. ``This would be done from a safety standpoint to protect citizens.''

    Matteucci reiterated that the goal of the cameras is not to generate revenue for the city. ``Our only goal is to prevent accidents and increase public safety,'' he said.

    Despite some resistance to the installation of red light cameras in other cities in San Mateo County, at least two Burlingame residents support the idea in their city. ``It wouldn't bother me a bit. I think if people knew there was a camera, it would provide an incentive to drive a little more safely,'' said Burlingame resident Chris Foley.

    Susan Castner-Paine, also a resident of Burlingame, concurred. While driving an ambulance, her brother-in-law was hit by a car running a red light at Broadway and El Camino.

    ``And that was years ago, when people were possibly more courteous drivers. I think it's a wonderful idea now,'' Castner-Paine said.

    The Traffic, Safety and Parking Commission will meet at 7 p.m. tonight at the City Hall Council Chambers at 501 Primrose Road.
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  2. #2
    Yoda of Radar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    Red light camera installation delayed
    By Heather Murtagh

    Installing a red light camera at El Camino Real and Broadway got the yellow light last night as the Burlingame City Council expressed some reservation over the cost, the need and the required five-year contract.

    The program, increasingly popular in Peninsula cities, is seen as a way to create a deterrent to red-light runners and usually pays for itself — and often generates revenue. A May 2006 traffic study showed 10 red light runners and five right-hand turn violations from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.

    Those numbers are nowhere near other intersections in the county such as Millbrae Avenue and Rollins Road in Millbrae and Saratoga Drive and Hillsdale Boulevard in San Mateo. The council wasn’t convinced the system would pay for itself as it was said to do. It requested to look at the number of violations sent out in San Mateo, which uses the same system. The council, also, wanted to know how traffic was affected by the cameras in those areas.

    “I want to make it safer, but I don’t want to go broke,” said Councilwoman Rosalie O’Mahony.

    Burlingame Police Chief Jack Van Etten previewed a plan in July to set up red light cameras on the accident-prone intersection as a safety precaution.

    At the time, the Traffic Safety and Parking Commission was in favor of the idea emphasizing that the change was to improve safety not generate revenue.

    The cameras would be leased from Redflex Traffic Systems for $5,000 to $6,000 per month. The contract would not require the city to pay the full monthly price if the fines do not generate enough money to cover the cost, said Wade Bettisworth, director of sales and marketing for Redflex Traffic Systems.

    Each ticket costs $341 — the city gets between $140 to $150 of each violation.

    The cameras capture 12 seconds of video, six seconds before and after the traffic violation.

    The police station must give the go-ahead for a ticket to be mailed out. Anyone who receives a ticket can view the video and photo stills online.

    El Camino Real is maintained by Caltrans.

    The city would need to get approval from Caltrans before moving forward, said City Manager Jim Nantell.

    Millbrae set up cameras at its largest intersection, where Millbrae Avenue, Rollins Road and Highway 101 meet, last month.

    The cameras must sent out warnings during the first month and will go live later this week.

    Last year, the city of San Mateo approved cameras at some of its most dangerous intersections. The city just started to install additional red light cameras at two more intersections this week. Belmont is also considering implementing the revenue-generating cameras.

    Heather Murtagh can be reached by e-mail: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105. What do you think of this story? Send a letter to the editor:
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