COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs drivers will be seeing more red light cameras in the city. Four intersections are going live on Friday, July 1. Once those cameras are added, there will be a total of 17 cameras at intersections across the city.
It’s part of the Red Light Safety Program lead by the Colorado Springs Police Department.
“It’s our attempt to help influence driving behavior that has the potential to result in traffic accidents, injuries and death,” said Lieutenant Pamela Castro, the PIO for CSPD. “As with all of our intersections, when we add them, we want the public to know that we've added them.”
Lt. Castro says the department identifies the intersections to place red light cameras, as intersections with high travel and a high risk of accidents.
“We work to look at the traffic data, and try to find the intersections that are the highest violation intersections. We want to prevent accidents,” said Lt. Castro.
However, others don't agree that red-light cameras change driving behavior.
“The National Motorists Association is opposed to any form of automated traffic enforcement that includes red light cameras.” said Shelia Dunn, a spokesperson with the association.
Dunn mentioned the safest streets have a steady flow of traffic, but that can be interrupted because of a red light camera.
“People will dead stop so they won't run the camera, and that causes rear end collisions and that's almost as bad as a T bone if you ask me,” said Dunn. “Cameras don't make you more safe. If people are going to run a red light they're still going to run it.”
Another concern Dunn and others have, is the revenue collected from violators who run red lights and get a ticket.
According to city data from the municipal court, Colorado Springs collected nearly $2 million from red light camera violations between 2020 and 2021. That number does not include revenue waiting to be collected for unpaid tickets.
“The cameras are for taxation by citation, it's not really about safety,” said Dunn.
Meanwhile, Lt. Castro said revenue from the red light cameras go into the city's general fund, and not to the police department.
She also mentioned there's signage at each intersection letting drivers know the camera is there.
“We're trying our best to give everybody a safe ride into work a safe ride home from work,” said Lt. Castro. “And unfortunately, as we've seen, with the fatal traffic accident rates in the city, it's a big concern, right? It impacts every area of our city.”
Last year, nearly 25,000 tickets were issued through red light cameras. 7,600 of them were not paid.
If a ticket is unpaid, CSPD will make multiple attempts to contact citizens to get the citation paid. If none of those are successful, then an officer will issue them a summons to municipal court.
Here's where the new red light cameras will be added in Colorado Springs:
The camera on Voyager and Interquest is covering southbound lanes and the right turn lane.
A camera on Voyager and Academy will only monitor northbound lanes.
Eastbound lanes and both the left and right turn lanes will be monitored on Colorado Avenue and 31st street.
Lastly, the camera on Academy and Astrozon will only impact southbound lanes and the left turn lane.
There will be a 30-day warning period once the cameras go live on Friday. After the warning period, violators will receive a $75 fine in the mail.
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