Red light photo enforcement starts Monday in Richmond

Posted on: 8:02 pm, December 1, 2013, by and , updated on: 03:01pm, December 2, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Police have started a new effort to reduce the number of crashes at the intersection of Elkhardt and Hull Streets in South Richmond.

Police installed a red light camera at the intersection and red light enforcement begins Monday. The first 30 days will be used as a warning period.

Sensors trigger the system when the light turns red, according to police.  If a vehicle runs the light, a series of photos is taken of the vehicle and its license plate.  Tickets are mailed to the address listed to the vehicle.

The tickets can be contested in court, and photos of the incident are available online before the scheduled court date.  The fine is $50.  More information on how the process works.

The cameras were installed in January, but were not be activated until Monday.  In May, CBS 6 investigated what was taking so long for the system to become operational.

The company the city of Richmond hired to run the system, Redflex Traffic Systme Inc., was at the center of a bribery scandal in the city of Chicago.  Officials in Richmond conducted their own investigation of the city’s deal with Redflex Traffic and found no wrong doing.

Officials said they would not move forward with implementing the red light system until the review was final.  Redflex is still handling the operation of the red light photo system.

A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that fatal crashes involving red light runners were significantly reduced when safety cameras were used.

The study was conducted between 2004-2008 and also stated that during that time period, 159 lives were saved, and 815 lives could have been saved with the use of the red light cameras.

There are opponents of the systems nationwide and in Richmond.  Studies in states like Florida and New Jersey have found installation of the systems led to more traffic accidents.

In a statement released by AAA Mid Atlantic about Richmond’s new red light photo enforcement, the driver advocacy group said, “Red light cameras across the country have often been highly controversial as they have clearly been designed to generate revenue with safety as a mere side beneficiary.  Camera programs have been installed and then turned off and even re-instated in some localities.”

AAA Mid Atlantic said they will watch to see how Richmond Police handle the new technology.

There are currently no red light cameras in Henrico or Chesterfield, and officials in both counties said there have not been any discussions about installing them.

Richmond Police said last year Hull Street and Elkhardt Road had the highest number of traffic incidents of any intersection in the city.  Since the cameras went up and January, police said they have already seen a decrease in wrecks at the intersection, even though the cameras have not be activated.

There are 8 other intersections in Richmond where safety cameras are already installed.  Police did not have a timetable for when those will be functional.

10 comments

  • lori tanner says:

    does it shoot at you when you run a red light? how does this work? what happens if i go thru the red light?

  • The statistics quoted are lies. Because none of these studies implement controls (other contributing factors such as traffic flow rates, signal timing, etc. held to a constant), all these studies are false. For example, the NCDOT increased the all-red clearance intervals at several intersections which reduced the crashes in Cary by 80%. The Town of Cary attributed the decrease in crashes to red light cameras. The NCDOT built I540 and Highway 64 Bypass which circumvent the Town of Knightdale. The traffic volume passing through town decreased 66%. The Town of Knightdale attributed the 40% decrease in wrecks to the red light cameras. The Towns will do and say anything to protect their cash cow and/or to save face.

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety is a for-profit corporation that makes it money off of raising premiums from drivers caught running red lights by red light camera. They will bend statistics to their advantage.

    The red light camera industry operates a charlatan fraud scheme. The factor of fraud is traffic engineers’ misapplication of a formula that sets yellow light durations. Using this formula opposes a basic law of physics. Because no one can break the unbreakable laws of physics, traffic engineers literally force millions of drivers to run lights every day. The city and its red light camera partner exploit the incompatibility at your expense.

    • Morning Dew says:

      I know how to solve the problem. Don’t run a red light. Start stopping when the light turns amber. How hard is that?

  • Richard Sutter says:

    They should just put cameras at stop signs. Then there will be no question of whether the sign was there. Many more people roll through stop signs than red lights.

  • Allan from Ashland says:

    There is only one entity that will benefit from this deal: Redflex Traffic.

  • dERRICK says:

    How can you question a camera in court? In the USA you have the RIGHT to question your accuser. CBS 6 why don’t you investigate that? This is criminal. We are the sheep and they are the shepherds now. We are all slaves to the wage without chains.

  • Mike says:

    The key here is to not run the red light!!! Why is that such a hard concept to follow?

  • jimmy says:

    How would the Richmond officials know if this company is doing what they are supposed to do? They can’t keep their on departments straight.
    Just look at all that has happened in the last few years in Richmond.

  • Bill Hine says:

    Hull Street and Elkhardt Road intersection has not existed for ten to twenty years. Elkhardt was reverted back to a property lot about 100 yards before reaching Hull St Rd. The Elkhardt Rd bypass is where the Advance Auto is currenty located, and a traffic light is in place at that location. It being West of Chippenham Parkway, is Chesterfield, not Richmond. The Chesterfield Police have a car parked under the Chippenham Parkway at times, pointing West bound.

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