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Road Safety Ink

ATS’ Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 33

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ATS Adds Voice of Support to Stop On Red Week
There is no turning back once a driver runs a red light. Stopping on red makes all the difference. It’s the only safe call. Nearly 700 people died in red-light running crashes in 2013, and another 127,000 were injured. Half of them never knew what hit them. They were crossing the intersection on the green light, expecting other drivers to stop. These tragedies can be prevented, and families can be spared their grief. During National Stop on Red Week from Aug. 2-8, American Traffic Solutions encourages the public to pay attention to the safety messages their police and elected officials will be sharing. For one week, make the message to stop on red a part of your life, then make it a daily habit.

 

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City Issues 268 Citations 2 Weeks into New Camera Program
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), July 30, 2015

More than 200 people have been ticketed for running red lights at three Fayetteville intersections with cameras. The city announced Wednesday that 268 citations have been mailed to violators caught by cameras between July 8 and July 23. The cameras were turned on July 1, and the grace period ended July 8. See city press release here.

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Hays County Rolls Out Speed Zone Safety Vehicle
KXAN-TV NBC 36 (Texas),  July 29, 2015

A new safety program in Hays County hopes to slow drivers down in an area where it’s especially important to follow the speed limit: school zones. “There’s a reason the state sets those speed limits,” said Constable Darrell Ayres, Hays County Precinct 3. “And five miles above the speed limit could be the difference between life and death in an accident.” Wimberley is the first district in Hays to receive a School Safety Zone vehicle, which operates unmanned. (KXAN-TV NBC 36 image)

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Atlanta Public Schools Starts Year with Bus Safety Cameras
WSB-TV Channel 2 and MyAJC.com (Georgia), July 29, 2015

Atlanta Public Schools will be using CrossingGuard School Bus Stop Arm Safety Cameras this year to catch any vehicle that fails to stop when students are getting on and off the bus. Violators will be caught on video and a snapshot of their license plate will be sent to law enforcement.

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With Fatalities Up, Waco Explores Red-Light Safety Cameras
KWTX-TV Channel 10 (Texas), July 23, 2015

The Waco City Council is looking into increased options to catch red-light violators, including red-light safety cameras. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrict Swanton said police have been looking into options for awhile with the increased fatalities this year from red-light crashes. Since January there have been 15 fatalities in Waco, and three of them have been from people running red lights.

 

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Chandler Signs with American Traffic Solutions, Reviews Camera Locations
The Arizona Republic, July 30, 2015

Chandler will continue using red-light cameras at certain intersections throughout the city, while pursuing plans to place cameras at five high-profile intersections next year. The city’s new contract with American Traffic Solutions will take effect April 1, 2016, and at that time, cameras will be re-deployed to some new locations in various parts of the city.

Dayton Takes Fight for Cameras to Court
WHIO-TV Channel 7 (Ohio), July 28, 2015

The city of Dayton squared off against the state of Ohio in a courtroom battle Tuesday to keep Dayton’s red-light cameras running. … Dayton’s assistant city attorney John Musto wasted no time attacking the state on a law he said violates the city’s home rule rights to enforce laws that protect its citizens.

Center Point Paves Way for Return of Red-Light Cameras
Birmingham News/AL.com (Alabama), July 28, 2015

Center Point is starting a public safety department, and the return of red-light cameras could be on the horizon. … Once the public safety department gets its Originating Agency Identification Number, the city will put out a bid for a vendor to do the red-light cameras. “In the past month and a half, we’ve had four pedestrians hit — 2 killed and 2 hurt. We just want to make it safer for folks out there,”

 

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Oregon’s Largest City Will Soon Add Speed Cameras
Landline Magazine, July 24, 2015

Speed cameras will likely soon start popping up around Oregon’s largest city. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed into law a bill that authorizes the city of Portland to operate fixed photo radar on “high-crash urban corridors.” The city already uses red-light cameras. (Portland Press Herald image)

 

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Sheriff’s Office: Pass a Stopped School Bus, Expect a Fine
Douglasville Patch (Georgia), July 29, 2015

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents that with the 2015-16 school year about to open, it is illegal to pass a school bus while it is loading or unloading students. Douglas County school buses are equipped with stop-arm cameras, which photograph violators and their cars when they break the law. Fines begin at $300.

Mitchell County Adds School Bus Safety Cameras
WTOE-Radio 1470 AM (North Carolina), July 29, 2015

Mitchell County Schools has received four high-definition camera systems to equip their buses for the new school year. Eight of the school system’s 27 yellow buses will now be equipped with cameras from all angles with the hope of catching drivers passing stopped buses.

School Bus Cameras Ready to Catch Drivers
KETV-TV ABC 7 (Nebraska), July 29, 2015

Ten Bellevue Public School buses will be equipped this year with special cameras attached to the stop arms to catch drivers who speed by when children are loading and unloading. The school district says there were 163 documented cases of drivers ignoring red flashing lights and stop arms last school year.

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Atlanta Schools to Use CrossingGuard Cameras
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Georgia), July 25, 2015

Atlanta Public Schools is planning to mount cameras on school buses to catch drives who illegally pass while the buses are stopped. The cameras supplied by American Traffic Solutions will automatically detect drivers who pass the stop arm when it is deployed and will capture video and still images. See related news coverage from School Bus Fleet. (Myfoxatlanta.com image)

 

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Commissioners Approve Speed Cameras Near Schools
TheBayNet.com (Maryland), July 29, 2015

In an effort to reduce the number of speeding incidents near schools, Calvert County officials have approved a program called Safety for Students, which involves the installation of speed cameras at public schools located on county roads.

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Kent Expands School Zone Speed Safety Camera Locations
Kent Reporter (Washington), July 28, 2015

Drivers will discover Kent’s school zone camera program spreading this fall to catch speeding violators at two additional schools. Cameras and warning signs will go up starting Aug. 31 at Meridian and Millennium elementary schools. Cameras already exist at two other schools and brought in more than $1 million in fines to the city during the first year of operation. Kent Police plan to spend their portion of funds on city jail renovations, police overtime costs, a use-of-force training simulator and traffic safety equipment. See related city press release here. (Kent Reporter image)

 

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City Of Fayetteville @CityOfFayNC  Fayetteville Dangerous Red-Light Running – July 2015: http://youtu.be/jb_aQQNiRXo? via @YouTube

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Greenville Journal @gville_journal Nationwide, more than 3.7 million drivers ran a red-light in 2014…What upsets you about drivers who ignore red lights? @SaferRoadsUSA

 

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Two Broward Turnpike Interchanges Go Cashless Next Month
WFOR-TV CBS 4 (Florida), July 27, 2015

If you’re used to plunking a couple of quarters into the toll plaza machines at the Griffin Road or Hollywood/Pines Boulevard exits on the Florida Turnpike, you’re in for a big surprise next month. They are going away. Beginning Aug. 29, they will become cashless interchanges. (Sun-Sentinel.com image)

Electronic Toll Rates Set for Highway Connector
Bucks Local News (Pennsylvania), July 25, 2015

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has approved toll rates for a cashless, nonstop tolling point for westbound motorists crossing the Delaware River Bridge from New Jersey in to Pennsylvania on Interstate 276. E-ZPass customers, who make up more than 80 percent of traffic at the bridge, will pay $5 for a two-axle vehicle. … The electronic toll is a critical element of the commission’s $1.4 billion project to connect I-95 and the Turnpike.

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Toll Collectors: A Disappearing Breed
Stateline, July 24, 2015

Transportation officials say electronic tolling improves driver safety and traffic flow, saves taxpayer dollars and reduces pollution by cutting fuel consumption. Critics say it invades people’s privacy, discriminates against low-income drivers and sometimes results in motorists being erroneously charged hefty fees and penalties. What’s not in dispute is the fact that toll collector jobs have dwindled and will continue to do so. (Orange County Register file photo by Kevin Sullivan)

 

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Editorial: School Bus Cameras Worth Pursuing
The Baltimore Sun (Maryland), July 25, 2015

Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler’s decision to delay installing cameras on school buses, as part of an effort to stop drivers who illegally go by when the bus’ red lights are flashing at a stop to pick up students, isn’t likely to end up being a big deal. … It’s reasonable to take a look, but it would be terrible if a tragedy that could have been prevented by the installation of cameras on school buses, ended up happening before a decision is reached.

Editorial: More Speed Cameras Near Schools Could Save a Life
Frederick News-Post (Maryland), July 22, 2015

We don’t see much downside to the recent action by the city of Frederick that will open the door to more speed camera locations in school zones throughout the city. … We applaud all these decisions, because even though the speed cameras have been around in the city since May 2011, we’re still amazed that nearly 16,500 citations were issued in 2014. What makes that number even more astounding is that state law requires motorists to drive at least 12 mph over the speed limit before being ticketed.

 

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“Frees us up from having to be there and still accomplishes the same thing as far as slowing down traffic, and bringing people in compliance.”
Darrell Ayres, Hays County Constable District 3, on the county’s new school zone speed safety vehicle
KXAN-TV NBC 36 (Texas), July 29, 2015

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“The proposed program is intended to provide law enforcement additional support to its traditional speed enforcement efforts. Of paramount importance are those systems that can be used to keep pedestrians safe and traffic calm, and address speeding in school zone roadways.”
John Norris, Calvert County Attorney
TheBayNet.com (Maryland), July 29, 2015

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“Too many people are driving too fast. If people are going to choose to be dangerous it’s going to cost them.”
Evan K. Slaughenhoupt Jr., Calvert County Commissioner, District 3
TheBayNet.com (Maryland), July 29, 2015

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“Ensuring that motorists follow the law when students are being loaded and unloaded from our school buses is a vital safety concern. With the implementation of these cameras, instances of motorists passing school buses while the stop arm is out and the red lights are flashing are expected to decrease.”
John Franklin, Atlanta Public Schools’ executive director of transportation
School Bus Fleet, July 28, 2015 

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“Obviously we would want our citizens to understand it’s not a prudent thing to do to run a red light because it could end up getting you a fine or worse it could end up getting you killed.”
W. Patrick Swanton, Police Sergeant with Waco Police Department
KWTX-TV Channel 10 (Texas), July 23, 2015

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