Bluff City's speed cameras to be activated today

By Kacie Breeding

Published November 30th, 2009 | 5 Comments

Speed cameras on U.S. 11E in Bluff City will be activated Tuesday.
Photo enforcement signs warn motorists of the speed cameras now posted at Poplar Ridge Road. Beginning Tuesday, they will begin capturing video and still images of speeding vehicles.
There are two cameras total, one each for the southbound and northbound lanes. They belong to American Traffic Solutions Inc., a private corporation headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. Bluff City signed a contract with the company in July.
According to Bluff City Police Chief David Nelson, the registered owners of vehicles caught speeding by the photo-enforcement cameras should expect to receive warning notices in about a week's time. By Jan. 1, 2010, actual citations that must be paid will be mailed out.
Motorists caught speeding after Jan. 1, 2010 will have to pay a $50 civil fine plus another $45 in court costs. Thatís according to an ordinance approved by the Bluff City Board of Mayor and Aldermen in April.
"The warning period gives drivers the opportunity to check their speed and comply with our safety program before actual citations begin," Nelson stated in a news release. "The intent of this program is to alert drivers to obey the traffic speed limit and increase safety."
The news release included data about a recent traffic study that concluded nine percent of those who sped through Bluff City's two-mile 45 mph zone were traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit. The average speed of 114,991 vehicles that traveled the road during that study was 47.9 mph. The study was conducted by Bristol Tenessee Traffic Engineer David Metzger.
Nelson said earlier this year that the city turned to speed cameras after a Tennessee Department of Transportation road study revealed a heavy presence of speeders on 11-E. The study showed that more than half of the estimated 36,000 vehicles on the road each day, 53 percent, were traveling in excess of 5 mph over the speed limit, he said.