YONKERS, N.Y. (September 22, 2010) — The city of Yonkers is joining the national safety trend of using technology to reduce the number of red-light runners, crashes and injuries at major intersections across the city. Beginning October 1, Yonkers will become the fifth community in New York to operate Intersection Safety Cameras (red-light cameras).
New York City has used cameras since 1993. Nassau and Suffolk Counties, along with Rochester, adopted the technology following state legislation approved in 2009 that allowed the expansion of intersection safety programs in the state including in the city of Yonkers.
After a competitive evaluation and procurement process, Yonkers selected American Traffic Solutions (ATS) of Scottsdale, Ariz., to furnish, install, operate and maintain the city’s Road Safety Camera Program. ATS is the vendor for the cameras throughout Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Nassau County.
Nationally, nearly 700 cities deploy cameras as part of their public safety efforts. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes. Fifty-one percent of pedestrian deaths occur at intersections.
Late last year, the State Legislature authorized Yonkers to operate cameras at 25 intersections across the city that will be selected based on accident and red-light data compiled by the Yonkers Police Department, the city’s Traffic Engineering Department and ATS.
The first phase of the program will include cameras at six intersections that will begin operating in October. Cameras at additional intersections will be phased in over the next six months with all 25 intersections expected to be operational by April 2011.
“We have shown a strong commitment to motor vehicle safety in Yonkers with a number of traffic and pedestrian improvements during the course of my administration. Red-light cameras are yet another proven technology that will make Yonkers safer for drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” said Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone. “These cameras will help our police department keep intersections across the city safe by reducing red-light runners, accidents and injuries through the use of technology, and will free up our patrol officers to focus on drunken and reckless drivers, and to respond to other serious crimes.”
ATS technicians will review images collected by the cameras and forward possible violations to the city’s Bureau of Code Enforcement. There, code enforcement personnel will review the images and issue violations. A Yonkers police officer will participate in the process by spot checking images , and will review those that have been rejected. If a violation is issued, the owner of the offending vehicle (not necessarily the driver) has the option to pay the $50 fine or appeal the citation through a hearing process governed by an administrative law judge. These citations do not result in points on the driver’s record.
Violators will have an opportunity to pay fines in person, via mail or through a secure website maintained by ATS in conjunction with the city of Yonkers.
Only certain emergency vehicles such as police cars, firetrucks and ambulances will be exempted from red-light violations. City workers driving other non-emergency municipal vehicles are not exempt, and all city employees are being notified accordingly.
The cameras enjoy wide public support in New York. In a survey conducted last year by national polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, 85 percent of respondents in the Metropolitan New York City area indicated support for Intersection Safety Cameras. Statewide, more than 77 percent of the public supports using cameras to improve safety at high-traffic-volume intersections.
“This was a very rigorous and competitive procurement process,” according to James Tuton, ATS’ president and CEO. “We’re pleased and honored to have been selected. We look forward to helping Yonkers achieve the same dramatic improvements in public safety that New York City has experienced, where we’ve seen dramatic drops in traffic violations. We expect similar results will improve public safety for the residents of Yonkers.”
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. ATS has been selected by nearly 300 communities in 21 states and Washington, D.C., including Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Nassau County (NY), New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle and St. Louis. 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.
Contact: George Hittner
City of Yonkers Contact: David Simpson
Director of Communications