Posted Dec 12th 2007 11:39AM by Terrence O'Brien
Filed under: Cameras
Red Light Camera Going HaywireTraffic cameras, like the one in the southbound lane of 41st Avenue at the corner of Clares street in Capitola, California, are supposed to make police officers' jobs easier. Instead, this rogue camera has become a bit of a problem child.
The culprit is an overly sensitive motion detector that has the camera snapping pictures of people making right turns on red or slowly rolling forward before a light turns green, all of which are completely legal maneuvers.
"It's going nuts," said Capitola Police Chief Richard Ehle on Monday. Officers have been forced to comb through video footage of the intersection to make sure each photographed "offender" was actually breaking the law. According to Ehle, 50 to 60 percent of the photos are of innocent people.
Ehle said the department is working hard at fixing the camera, but in the meantime, it seems the little camera has made a difference. Collisions at the intersection are down 60 percent and the number of red-light violations has dropped from 100 a month to around 25.
From Santa Cruz Sentinel