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ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 3

 

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Wishing Everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season
Holiday time is travel time, and American Traffic Solutions urges everyone to exercise an extra measure of caution on the road during this hectic season. Drive carefully and enjoy this wonderful time of year. Road Safety Ink will return in the New Year after a two-week break in publication. Happy Holidays.

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Community Mourns Death of Teen Boarding School Bus
KYW-Radio 1060 AM/CBS Philly (Pennsylvania), Dec. 17, 2014

A 16-year-old girl was struck and killed by an SUV while she was walking to her school bus in Buck County Wednesday Morning. According to investigators, the school bus was stopped on the road with its flashing lights on. Police say the driver of a 1984 Ford Bronco ran through the signal and drove past the bus, hitting the teen, who was attempting to get on her school bus.

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Red-Light Runners Caught on Camera in Granite City
Belleville News-Democrat (Illinois), Dec. 16, 2014

Granite City Police Chief Richard E. Miller says the red-light safety camera at 27th Street and Madison Avenue has “virtually eliminated traffic crashes at that intersection, and it works in an unexpected way to slow down traffic on that whole thoroughfare.” The videos posted to the city’s Facebook page still get thousands of views in a matter of days. See related article at Belleville News-Democrat.

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Council’s Vote Moves Denver Toward Photo Enforcement Expansion
KDVR-TV FOX 31 (Colorado), Dec. 15, 2014

The Denver City Council took the first step Monday night to expand the red light and photo radar speed camera program in the city. The council gave initial approval to plans to extend the contract with the vendor by six months so city officials can examine the programs. The final vote on the measure will take place later. See related news from KCNC-TV CBS 4.

Bus Company Takes Steps to ID Driver Suspected of Running Red Light
CBC News (Canada), Dec. 15, 2014

The Toronto Transportation Commission confirms it is investigating a video posted online that appears to show one of its buses running a red light in Scarborough.

 

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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Red-Light Safety Cameras
ABC News, Dec. 18, 2014

A divided Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday again upheld use of traffic camera enforcement by the state’s municipalities, reversing a lower court after a year of legal setbacks for camera use. The Supreme Court justices ruled 4-3 to stick to its 2008 ruling in a challenge to Akron cameras that cities have “home-rule authority” to use the cameras to catch speeders and red-light runners. See related article from Northeast Ohio Media Group/Cleveland.com. (Photo by The Plain Dealer)

Glassboro Officials Say Red-Light Safety Cameras Increased Safety
South Jersey Times (New Jersey), Dec. 17, 2014

Many towns in New Jersey fought to keep the red-light safety camera program going, arguing the cameras have improved safety. Officials in Glassboro echoed that concern, even if they didn’t publicly lobby state legislators to keep the cameras on. Glassboro administrator Joseph Brigandi said, “Glassboro’s red-light safety camera was responsible for an 83.3 percent decrease in overall incidents at the intersection during the first year of operation alone.”

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Judge Shoots Down Lawsuit Challenging Cameras
New York Telegraph, Dec. 16, 2014

A Manhattan judge has put the brakes on a class-action lawsuit challenging the city’s red-light camera program. “Plaintiffs cannot assert in good faith that it is against equity and good conscience to allow a municipality to levy fines against individuals who drive through red lights and thus pose a danger to society,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Feed wrote in her decision released Monday.

City Re-Signs Contract for Red-Light Safety Cameras
Conroe Courier/YourHoustonNews (Texas), Dec. 16, 2014

The Willis City Council gave the go-ahead Tuesday night to renew its current deal to keep the cameras in place at major intersections — pending the outcome of a petition. Council members approved the five-year agreement with American Traffic Solutions by a vote of 2-to-1, with one abstention.

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Red-Light Cameras to Remain at 3 Intersections in Gwinnett
WSB-Radio  750 AM 95.5 FM (Georgia), Dec. 16, 2014

Gwinnett commissioners voted Tuesday to renew the annual contract with American Traffic Solutions. Commission Chair Charlotte Nash, who was not at the Dec. 2 meeting, voted in favor. “It’s the right thing to do,” she said. (Gwinnett Daily Post photo by Kristi Reed)

Somerset County Official Open to Red-Light Cameras
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com (New Jersey), Dec. 16, 2014

Although Somerset County towns didn’t participate in the state’s red-light camera pilot program, county principal traffic engineer Joe Fishinger said he wouldn’t discourage municipalities from joining the program if it is continued.

Lost Red-Light Running Revenue Not an Issue in Bergen County
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com (New Jersey), Dec. 16, 2014

Officials in the two Bergen County towns with red-light cameras say they’re not worried about the revenue lost with the end of the red-light camera program Tuesday. “It’s a safety issue to me more than a monetary issue,” Englewood Cliffs Police Chief Michael Cioffi said. “I’m not worried about the money.”

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Brick Lost Nearly $1 Million with Early Camera Shut-Down Decision
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com (New Jersey), Dec. 15, 2014

The township of Brick lost nearly $1 million in revenue by shutting off its red-light cameras earlier than the controversial program that ended Tuesday. (Daily Record photo by Thomas P. Costello)

Survey: Americans Support Red-Light Safety Cameras
FindLaw.com and PR Newswire, Dec. 15, 2014

Despite the controversy surrounding red-light safety cameras, a majority of Americans favor their use at intersections, according to a new survey from Findlaw.com, the most popular legal information website. The survey found that 56 percent of Americans support the use of red-light cameras, while 44 percent oppose them.

Pinellas County IDs Most Crash-Prone Intersections in Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Times (Florida), Dec. 14, 2014

Pinellas County officials recently analyzed nearly 18,000 traffic accidents from 2012. Most of the country’s 106 traffic deaths that year — 58 percent of them — were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.

Crashes Feared as Red-Light Cameras Go
The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), Dec. 14, 2014

Red-light cameras that have flashed at wayward motorists for years at 38 Columbus intersections soon will come down. What happens after, though, worries the city. Right-angle crashes at city intersections equipped with red-light cameras dropped by about 73 percent through 2012 — the last year for which data were available — and the numbers are expected to return to their pre-camera levels after they’re removed, said George Speaks, director of the city’s Department of Public Safety.

 

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Student Faces Surgery for Multiple Injuries
Eagle-Tribune (Massachusetts), Dec. 17, 2014

A high school sophomore struck early Monday morning by a hit-and-run driver has a ruptured spleen, leg and arm fractures, a head injury and more and will be undergoing surgery this week. “The bottom line is, he is pretty banged up. And he is the oldest of five children, so there are four other kids affected here too,” said the teen’s grandmother. The student was in a Lowell Street crosswalk trying to get aboard a stopped school bus when he was struck by a full-size white pickup. See related coverage from School Transportation News.

3 Injured when SUV Rear-Ends School Bus
KHOU-TV CBS 11 (Texas), Dec. 17, 2014

According to the Santa Fe Police Department, a school bus picking up children was struck from behind by a silver SUV. Three people were injured.

School Bus Video Evidence Bill Advances in Canada
School Transportation News, Dec. 17, 2014

Legislation introduced last month in Canada would allow “photographs” from school bus camera systems to be used as evidence of illegal passing incidents at stops. The camera footage would demontrate to law enforcement that a vehicle and driver did not stop before reaching the school bus and then proceeded to pass the bus despite red lights flashing.

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Loveland Man Killed in Car Collision
KUSA-TV NBC 9 (Colorado), Dec. 15, 2014

A 78-year-old man died after his 1993 Dodge Dakota rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped for a northbound school bus.

Teen Dies After Pickup Rear-Ends Car Stopped for School Bus
Greenfield Reporter (Indiana), Dec. 13, 2014

Police say a 17-year-old boy has died from injuries sustained in a car crash. Police say the boy was riding in the back seat of a Nissan Altima that had stopped for a school bus in Sutton, Massachusetts, when it was struck from the rear by a Ford F-350 pickup truck driven by a 17-year-old whom police say was driving 45 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Driver Strikes Student Approaching School Bus
Time Warner Cable News (North Carolina), Dec. 13, 2014

An elderly man faces felony charges after hitting a high school student with his car. The school district said the student was walking toward her stopped school bus when she was hit. The driver told authorities he thought the bus’s flashing red-lights were a fire truck.

New Bus Cameras Prompt Warnings to Drivers in Georgia
WSB-Radio 750, 92.5 FM (Georgia), Dec. 12, 2014

Warnings are now being issued to motorists who fail to stop for school buses in Gwinnett County. … In this past week, authorities determined 65 percent of those vehicles caught on camera violated the law while 35 percent have not.

 

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ATS Primary Logo

American Traffic Solutions is pleased to announce that its red-light safety camera agreement with Gwinnett County, Georgia, has been renewed through 2015. ATS has been Gwinnett County’s road safety camera provider since 2010, although the county first began using red-light safety cameras in 2005. ATS is honored by the county’s decision to continue with its program.

 

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ATS_RoadSafety @ATS_RoadSafety “The (RLSC) program has been very effective in reducing accidents, which is why we have it in Gwinnett.” gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2014/dec/…

Matt O’Donnell @matt_odonnell BREAKING: Driver killed 15yr old girl trying to get on school bus in Bensalem. Police say driver ignored stop arm. http://buff.ly/1szM4bX

NCSR @SaferRoadsUSA More than 3.5 million drivers received a red-light violation in across the 20 states in 2013!  #StopOnRed

 

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Electronic Tolling Boosts Massachusetts’ Clean Air Goals
North Reading Patch, Dec. 17, 2014

Massachusetts is on pace to reach its greenhouse gas emission goals. The range of work in progress includes the removal of toll booths across the state, and replacing them with all-electric tolling, which will either work like an EZ-Pass or recognize driver’s license plates and send a bill. The upgraded toll booths are meant to reduce emissions by eliminating the need for drivers to stop and start at tolls.

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Plate Pass Fleet Toll Program Adds Georgia Peach Pass
Sys-Con Media, Dec. 16, 2014

American Traffic Solutions is pleased to announce that PlatePass, the company’s fleet toll program, has added the state of Georgia to its nationwide coverage.

North Carolina Proposes I-77 Toll Lanes Near State Line
WCNC-TV NBC 36, Dec. 16, 2014

Drivers in the Lake Norman area aren’t the only ones who could have miles of tolls lanes. A nine-mile stretch of I-77 from I-485 to south of uptown to the state line is also on the state’s wish list for future managed lanes, according to North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Draft 10-year State Transportation Improvement Program. That means HOV, express or toll lanes.

 

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Commentary: Red-Light Cameras Save Precious Lives
The Daytona Beach News-Journal (Florida), Dec. 14, 2014

It’s been more than 11 years since a red-light runner upended my life, yet it feels like yesterday. I was nine months pregnant in October 2003 when a driver ran a red light and killed my husband at an intersection near our home in Bradenton. My daughter has never heard her father’s laughter, felt his beautiful hug or squeezed his hand. Each day, we feel his absence in our lives and we miss him. I miss him. My husband’s death is a testament to the plain fact that red-light running kills people, and yet this dangerous practice continues.

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Editorial: Revisit Red-Light Safety Cameras
Reflector (North Carolina), Dec. 16, 2014

Crosswalks at Greenville’s busy intersections, as we pointed out in this space last month, are unsafe and need attention. One measure that could make crosswalks safer for pedestrians and motorists: installing red-light cameras.

Editorial: Correct Use of Speed Cameras Reduces Crashes
Newsday (New York), Dec. 13, 2014

In places where school-zone speed cameras have been used sensibly for a significant period, they have helped. In Mesa, Arizona, for instance, serious injury collisions in intersections monitored for speed declined by 35.5 percent between 2007 and 2011, and school-hour speeds at the monitored schools dropped by an average of more than 8 mph after cameras were deployed.

Editorial: There Is a Problem with Speeding Near Schools
Newsday (New York), Dec. 13, 2014

46,570 — That’s the number of tickets issued by Nassau County’s school-zone speed cameras to people exceeding the speed limit by more than 21 mph, in about three months. For drivers going 16 to 20 mph over the limit, 117,971 tickets were issued. And for those going 11 to 15 mph above the limit, 247,509 were issued. These figures from program administrator American Traffic Solutions prove there is a problem with speeding near schools that needs attention. A 74 percent drop-off in tickets over 14 weeks shows cameras do help change behavior.

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Letter to the Editor: Seitz’ Law Is Not the Answer
The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), Dec. 15, 2014

So Senator Bill Seitz got a “ticky-tacky ticket” (his words) for running a red light camera-controlled intersection. Rather than admit he broke the law (and got caught) he wants to do away with the law! I’ve seen some sore losers in my time but this beats them all! Judging by letters to the Dispatch it seems that a majority of Dispatch readers want to RETAIN the cameras. Why not put it up to a vote?

Letter: Cameras Put Safety in Focus
The Blade (Ohio), Dec. 13, 2014

I agree with your Nov. 29 editorial “Maintain traffic cameras.” Ohio should keep these cameras. Many traffic accidents happen because of speeding. Traffic cameras deter speeding. Instead of getting rid of these cameras, the state should improve the current ones’ efficiency.

Letter: Red-Light Cameras’ True Value Is Safety
The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), Dec. 12, 2014

I live in Columbus and watch drivers go through red lights daily, along with stop signs and yield signs. Human life is so important that I think cameras should be used at every required stopping point. It’s time we start thinking of lives rather than accommodating people’s radical driving habits.

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“Fear of the citation is what has caused a dramatic decline in the crashes. … It works to the principle of negative reinforcement. This program has been incredibly successful.”
George Speaks, Department of Public Safety Director for City of Columbus
The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), Dec. 15, 2014

“The red-light cameras are another tool in the traffic engineering tool box. I would like to use them where they’re applicable so I’d like to see the program continue in some form. Anything I can get to make my job easier, prevent crashes and litigate the various crashes, I would want to have at my disposal.”
Joe Fishinger, Somerset County Principal Traffic Engineer
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com (New Jersey), Dec. 16, 2014

“It does improve driver behavior, and it’s carried over to other intersections where there aren’t red-light cameras. Instead of running that amber light to beat the red light, people are now stopping.”
Peter Brown, Linden Councilman
The Daily Journal (New Jersey), Dec. 16, 2014

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New Jersey
At the red-light camera intersection of Sylvan and Palisades avenues in Englewood Cliffs, crashes and tickets have decreased over time. There were 30 collisions at the intersection in the year before cameras were installed. In the year after, from June 2012 through May 2013, the number dropped to 23. It then fell to 12 the following year. The number of tickets issued also decreased, from 17,688 in year one to 9,170 in year two. Source: NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, Dec. 16, 2014.

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