FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Charles Territo
Title: Vice President of Communications
Phone: (480) 443-7000
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 5, 2010) – The city of Selma, Alabama, has signed a contract with American Traffic Solutions to implement a city-wide Intersection Safety Camera program. Selma will be only the second city in the state of Alabama to implement such a program. It is expected that these cameras will have a strong effect in reducing hazardous red-light running at the city’s most dangerous intersections.
“This is part of a larger goal of mine, which is to enhance the police presence in the community,” Selma Police Chief William T. Riley III said.
The technology will help reduce the number of red-light runners, crashes and injuries at dangerous intersections, and enable police officers to spend more time in the community responding to and investigating crimes.
Mayor George Evans looks forward to the technological addition. “I am excited about the implementation of this new technology in the city of Selma. The cameras will reduce the number of red-light runners, prevent accidents and save lives,” he said.
Integrating technology more deeply into the police department’s daily operations has been a priority for Riley since he was named chief in 2008. Then, department personnel shared Internet access and officers needed computers in their patrol cars. As part of his ongoing upgrades, the chief sees Intersection Safety Cameras as an essential part of 21st century law-enforcement work. Along with safer streets, the chief sees a safer community on the horizon as his officers will have more time to patrol neighborhoods and business districts to deter crime. “We can utilize technology to help make up for the shortfall of personnel,” he said.
American Traffic Solutions, of Arizona, is working hand in hand with the city to identify the best locations for the cameras. The partnership began last month, when the city signed a five-year agreement with ATS to install, operate and maintain Intersection Safety Cameras. So far, studies have indicated seven to 10 locations in need of safety enhancements. Installation could begin near the end of the year.
The cameras will photograph the back of vehicles entering intersections with the light showing red. The information will be reviewed first by ATS technicians, then by a Selma Police Department officer, who will determine if a violation occurred and if a citation is to be issued. Tickets will be mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner.
Nationally, nearly 700 communities deploy cameras as part of their public safety efforts. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes, and Intersection Safety Cameras are an effective deterrent to red-light violations. Selma will join Montgomery as the two cities in Alabama using the new technology to stem red-light running.
“We think the new photo enforcement program will help our police department make the roads and intersections safer for our families who live and work here,” Riley said. “The program should also help us improve our overall community policing, as it will free officers to pursue criminal behavior beyond traffic infractions. Once drivers realize cameras will record them if they speed through the intersection or fail to stop on red lights, I expect they will be more careful and improve their driving behaviors.”
When cameras are ready to be turned on, public announcements will be made and a 30-day warning period will be implemented to help drivers become accustomed to the change in traffic enforcement.
“We’re pleased and honored to join Selma in its important work of making city streets safer for the people who live and work there,” said James Tuton, ATS’ president and CEO. “We look forward to helping Selma achieve the same dramatic improvements in public safety that other cities have experienced, where we’ve seen dramatic drops in traffic violations.”
About American Traffic Solutions:
ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. ATS has more than 2,000 installed Intersection and Speed Safety Cameras serving more than 30 million people. We have contracts in 240 communities in 22 states and Washington, D.C., including: Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Nassau County (NY), New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington, DC.ATS also offers PlatePass, an automated electronic toll payment service that enables rental vehicle customers to use highspeed, cashless electronic toll lanes. ATS is a privately-owned, U.S. corporation. For more information, please visit: atsol.com or www.PlatePass.com.