New Traffic Safety Initiative: Red Light Cameras
Thursday, July 31, 2014, 10:30 AM
Abington Township Building 2nd Floor Board Room
1176 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Program Specialist—Public Information
Rosemary Hinkle 215-887-4954
This Friday, August 1, 2014 Abington Police Department Starts Its Newest Traffic Safety Initiative: Red Light Cameras.
Abington Township Becomes The First Suburban Municipality In Pennsylvania To Utilize This Technology To Improve Safety at Three Of Its Most Dangerous Intersections.
Unlike Most Red Light Camera Programs Across The U.S., Abington’s Program Is “Revenue Neutral,” which means: No Fine Money Goes To Abington, Except To Reimburse The Township For Actual Program Expenses (Like Equipment And Personnel Costs)
July 31, 2014 – Press Conference and On-Scene Media Opportunity
Abington Township Police Chief of Police Bill Kelly will hold a press conference on Thursday, July 31, 10:30 a.m. in the Abington Township Building 2nd Floor Board Room. At that time, he will brief the press on the Abington Police Department’s implementation of its newest traffic safety initiative, “Automated Red Light Enforcement,” also known as “Red Light Cameras.” Following the briefing, Chief Kelly has arranged for the media to have “Safe Access” at a nearby intersection where cameras have been installed and are operational. The press will be able to safely take photographs and video and ask questions at the scene, where Abington’s Traffic Safety Officers will be present to assist.
August 1, 2014 – Abington’s Red Light Camera Program Begins
Friday, August 1, 2014 commences the new Red Light Camera Program at three of Abington’s most dangerous intersections and begins a two-month “Warning Period” during which cameras will record violations, but only “warnings notices” will be issued to those who have committed a red light violation. Starting October 1, 2014, red-light-runners will receive Violation Notices and will be required to pay the $100 fine.
Abington’s Red Light Camera Program
Abington’s new 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, most importantly, injuries that occur at these intersections as well as the virtual impossibility to effectively, accurately and safely do “traditional enforcement strategies” at these locations because of conditions at these intersections (like difficult topography and roadway configurations.)
Why Are The Red Light Cameras Needed?
Abington’s Police Chief Bill Kelly answers that question by saying: “In Abington, Safety is our number one priority, so we continually work to develop new ways to protect our citizens. Especially in low-crime communities like Abington, Traffic Safety is truly a key part of Public Safety. Remember: statistics tell us that Car Crashes are among the Leading Causes of Death in the United States and, for Children, Teens, And Young Adults Below Age 34 Car Crashes are The Leading Cause Of Death! Furthermore, Red-light Running-Related Crashes cause more injuries than any other type of crash! Candidly, we would be remiss if we did not try this newly-available solution to this long-standing public safety challenge.”
Do Red Light Cameras Work?
Red light camera photo enforcement is designed to encourage drivers to think twice before running a red light. 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 there showed that red light violations decreased by an average of 48%. Total crashes declined by just over 24% within three years of red light cameras being implemented and red light violations even decreased at intersections without red light cameras!
Abington is the first municipality in Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia, to obtain approval from the State to install red light cameras. Cameras will be 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 will send still shots to the Abington Police Department where these visuals will be reviewed by trained police officers for approval. Officers will verify vehicle information and ensure that the vehicle clearly ran a red light. Gatso will then send violation notices to vehicle owners. The letter accompanying the photo of the vehicle will outline the procedures for paying the fine. People will be able to log onto a website to view their violation.
A list of “Frequently Asked Questions” provides more extensive 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. Additional questions may be directed to Traffic Safety Officer Chris Posey at 267.536.1076.