Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 12th, 2007 at 2:11 pm
From a press release issued by the City of Portland, Office of Transportation:
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NEW RED LIGHT CAMERA AT SW 4TH & JEFFERSON CAPTURES 226 RED LIGHT VIOLATIONS ON FIRST DAY OF OPERATION
(PORTLAND, OR) - Beginning Monday, October 15, at 12:01 a.m., motorists who run a red light on SW 4th at Jefferson will receive a $245 fine after the newly installed red light camera flashes their photograph that Portland Police officers use to generate a citation. The red light camera on SW 4th at Jefferson was turned on Wednesday, October 10, at 4:00 p.m. On its first day of operation (through October 11 at 3:00 a.m.), the camera captured 226 red light violations out of a total 3,011 vehicles. During a test period that continues until Monday, Portland Police are checking the violation photos and mailing warning letters to vehicles and drivers that would have been issued a citation.
The new installation is the first of six additional red light camera locations approved by Portland City Council in June of this year. The cameras, authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 1999, capture vehicles and their drivers running red lights and are meant to reduce crashes caused by this dangerous and illegal behavior.
The intersection of SW 4th at Jefferson had 29 red light crashes in the last four years. Below is a list of the other five intersections to receive the cameras. Each has a history of high numbers of crashes caused by red light running in the last four years.
- SE Washington at 103rd - 35 red light crashes
- SE Stark at 99th - 19 red light crashes
- SE Stark at 102nd - 44 red light crashes
- SE Foster at 96th - 53 red light crashes
- NE Broadway at Vancouver - 28 red light crashes
Traffic specialists say that when red light violations occur, they most often result in an angle or turning collision. These broadside collisions, also known as right-angle or T-bone collisions, are especially dangerous because the sides are the most vulnerable areas of cars.
"The most serious crashes that occur at intersections are caused by someone running a red light," says Sergeant Dan Costello of the Portland Police Bureau's Traffic Division. In Portland, turning and angle crashes are 2.5 times more likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities than rear-end crashes. "Adding six more cameras will further decrease these types of crashes," says Costello.
With this latest installation, there are now seven red light cameras operating at six intersections in Portland, enforcing the entering traffic as follows:
- SW 4th at Jefferson, northbound approach
- E Burnside at Grand Avenue, northbound approach
- NE Sandy Blvd at 39th Avenue, westbound approach
- NE Sandy Blvd at 39th Avenue, northbound approach
- SE Grand Avenue at Madison Street, northbound approach
- W Burnside at 19th Avenue, eastbound approach
- NE Broadway at Grand Avenue, westbound approach
Studies show that Portland's red light camera program has reduced red light running at existing camera intersections and the injuries and fatalities that red light running causes.
"No matter how pressed for time you are, please stop for a red light," says City Commissioner Sam Adams. "Gambling on saving a minute or two by running a red light could kill or seriously injure you or someone else. Red light running has very serious consequences."
Two City agencies administer the program. The Police Bureau reviews and signs the issued citations to the drivers, provides officers to testify if the driver requests a trial, and works with program vendors on maintenance issues. The Portland Office of Transportation manages maintenance of the cameras and monitors the effectiveness of the cameras. Both agencies are responsible for choosing which intersections receive the cameras. Locations are selected for red light camera enforcement because they have high numbers of crashes caused by red light running compared to other intersections in the city.
The next new red light camera will be installed on SE Washington at 103rd within three to six weeks.
For more information about the red light camera program, go to the City of Portland's website at www.portlandonline.com, and in the search field, type: red light running.
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