Cameras to Catch Red Runners
Have you ever been sitting at an intersection and seen someone speed through a red light? Those speeding drivers may soon get a ticket even if a police officer isn't anywhere to be seen. We're all in a hurry, and most have been tempted to gun it when you see the stop light starting to change, but now the city of Columbia is investing in tracking down those drivers down.
The city of Columbia is buying cameras that will be able to get pictures of a driver who gives in to the temptation to runs a red light.
"The camera doesn't lie, it takes pictures of the people approaching the lights, it takes pictures of the lights, it takes pictures as the cars go through the lights so that when people run the red lights, the camera records that fact," said Columbia's Mayor Darwin Hindman.
The city feels it's safer and more effective to install these new cameras rather then try and keep officers at the major intersections.
"If we were to have an officer sitting at an intersection and try and stop those violations, we would almost become more of a hazard than the original violation themselves, because we'd have to work within traffic," said Sgt. Tim Moririty, Columbia Police Department.
Columbia police say they average close to 100 red light traffic violations a month and they hope the cameras will lower that number. They say the goal of the cameras is not only to cut down on tickets, but also hopefully make drivers more aware of red lights.
The company that will eventually install the cameras will receive a portion of the ticket revenue that the cameras bring in. That money that the company receives though will go towards the maintenance of the cameras.
There won't be much room for excuses if you end up with a red light ticket. A computer will issue it and have it sent to your house. While it hasn't been released which roads and intersections will have the red light cameras, it won't be a secret once its figured out.
Columbia city officials hope to have the red light cameras up and running within the next two months.