Jul 28, 2014
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San Rafael Putting an End to Red Light Traffic Enforcement Program

The city's contract with the camera company will not be renewed when it expires this month because the number of red light violations has fallen, according to police.

San Rafael Putting an End to Red Light Traffic Enforcement Program
By Bay City News Service: 

The San Rafael Police Department is putting a stop to its red light camera enforcement program.

 Police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said the contract with Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. of Phoenix Ariz. will not be renewed when it expires this month because the number of red light violations has fallen.

 Police also reviewed the program's effectiveness last year and determined accident rates were only slightly reduced at the two intersections with the cameras, Rohrbacher said.

 "Drivers became aware of the cameras and their driving habits improved," Rohrbacher said.

 San Rafael began the camera enforcement program in 2009 at westbound Third Street at Irwin Street and northbound Irwin Street at Third Street. The busy intersections in the downtown corridor were chosen with the goal of improving vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian safety.

 Motorists initially received a 30-day warning period starting on Oct. 31, 2009. Red light violation citations were issued starting Dec. 1, 2009.

 In 2010 there were 4,221 red light citations, 3,195 in 2011 and 2,313 citations in 2012, Rohrbacher said. There were 443 red light citations in the first quarter of 2013.

 Other intersections also were considered, but the data did not support the additional installation, Rohrbacher said.

 Redwood City, Haywood and Belmont also have discontinued their red light camera programs, Rohrbacher said.

 The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported the number of cities nationwide using red light cameras has decreased from a peak of 540 in 2012 to 507 in 2013, Rohrbacher said.

 The cameras in San Rafael were mounted on a pole on the curb line near the traffic signal pole, and a sign about two blocks from the camera informed motorists of the red light camera enforcement ahead, Rohrbacher said.

 A red light on the camera flashed when a driver went through a red light, Rohrbacher said.


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