FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Lieutenant Kelley Warner
Abington Township Releases Results of Red Light Camera Enforcement After 2 Years
Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) has been in effect in since October of 2014 at three intersections in Abington Township. Those intersections include Old York Road and Old Welsh Road, Old York Road and Susquehanna Road, Fitzwatertown Road and Moreland Road.
Since then, red light camera violations, combined, have dropped 48% at ARLE intersections, crashes have dropped 30% and crashes with injuries have dropped 29%, overall! For years, the number one citizen complaint in Abington Township has been traffic violators jeopardizing the safety of Abington citizens and their children. As a result, the Abington Township Board of Commissioners joined with the Abington Township Police Department to try this innovative traffic initiative to make Abington safer for the community, and they have!
Background on Abington’s Red Light Camera Program
Abington’s Red Light Camera Program is a proactive approach is to reduce red-light related crashes and, especially, crashes with injuries at three of the most dangerous intersections in Abington Township: Old York and Susquehanna Roads, Old York and Welsh Roads, Moreland and Fitzwatertown Roads. They were chosen for camera enforcement technology because of the comparatively large number of violations, crashes, and especially injuries that occur at these intersections as well as the virtual impossibility to effectively, accurately, and safely use traditional enforcement strategies because of conditions at these intersections (difficult topography and roadway configurations.)
Do Red Light Cameras Work?
Red Light Camera photo enforcement is designed to encourage drivers to think twice before running a red light. Experience has indicated that in cities where Red Light Cameras operate, drivers also tend to obey the signals more frequently at non-camera intersections. Data collected from Philadelphia indicates that Red Light Cameras both improve driving behaviors and reduce accidents. A review of city intersections following the first year of Red Light Cameras becoming operational showed that red light running decreased by an average of 48% and total crashes declined by just over 24% within three years of the cameras being implemented.
How Does the Red Light Program Work in Abington Township?
Abington is the first municipality in Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia, to obtain approval from the State to install Red Light Cameras. Cameras are provided and maintained by Gatso USA, a company that has been pioneering and producing speed-measuring technologies since 1958. It introduced the first Red Light Cameras in the 1960s and has upgraded and expanded their capacities significantly over the last 50 years. Gatso was selected by a formal, competitive bidding process.
When violations are recorded, Gatso sends still shots to the Abington Police Department where these visuals are reviewed by trained police officers for approval. Officers verify vehicle information and ensure that the vehicle clearly ran a red light. Gatso then sends violation notices to vehicle owners. The letter accompanying the photo of the vehicle outlines the procedures for paying the fine. People are able to log onto a website to view their violation. Red-light runners are required to pay a $100 fine. Normally, traffic stops made by police officers result in a $128.50 fine for red-light running. Further, unlike officer stops, red-light runners caught on camera will not receive any points on their license.
Remember, Abinton’s Red Light Camera Program Is Different
Abington’s Red Light Camera program differs from most other such programs across the United States because Abington’s program is “Revenue Neutral.” That means that NO fine money goes to Abington, except to reimburse the Township for actual program expenses, such as equipment and personnel costs.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions provides helpful information about Red Light Cameras in Abington, including procedures when violations occur, and is posted on the Abington Police Department website at www.abingtonpd.org/traffic-safety/red-light-cameras/. Additional questions may be directed to Traffic Safety Officer Chris Posey at 267.536.1076.