Smile, chief wants red-light runners, speeders, caught on camera

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August 06, 2009 4:54 PM

Running a red light and speeding could cost Colorado Springs motorists a ticket in the future even if a cop isn’t around to catch them in the act.
The Police Department is asking the City Council to give it a green light to install red-light cameras at intersections throughout the city that have a high number of accidents.
Police also want to use photo radar to catch speeders.
In other cities, such cameras photograph the license plate number and the face of the driver violating the law. Soon after, a ticket – along with a copy of the photo – arrives in the mail.
Police consider the cameras an extra set of eyes that free up officers to do other public safety work.
“With the decrease in police resources and the increase in calls-for-service, the city must look for additional means to continue supporting the safe streets of the city,” Police Chief Richard Myers said in a report to City Manager Penelope Culbreth-Graft.
Other Colorado cities using red-light cameras include Denver, Boulder, Aurora, Fort Collins and Littleton, according to the chief’s report.
“The agencies we have been in contact with have all agreed the utilization of photo red light had significantly decreased the number of red light violations in their jurisdictions,” Myers said. “They have indicated the number of traffic accidents has also decreased.”
Myers also is proposing to bring a photo radar traffic enforcement program to the city.
“This is a mobile vehicle so it can be deployed in areas of town that have been identified as having speeding issues,” Myers said.
The photo radar program would not be used on the interstate or major streets under Myers' proposal.
“It is the Colorado Springs Police Department’s recommendation that the city of Colorado Springs request proposals from photo enforcement vendors to review possible applications in Colorado Springs,” he said in the report. “This will allow us to determine the relation photo enforcement could have to traffic safety as well as the resulting revenue that may be generated by the program.”
The council will consider the chief’s proposal at its informal meeting Monday.