Aurora keeping red light violation cameras for another year

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AURORA, Colo. -- Aurora lawmakers give the green light for one more year of red light cameras at 14 of the city’s busiest intersections.

Even as council members were divided on the issue, Aurora’s top cop—Dan Oates—says the system is helping make drivers safer, while helping make money for the city general fund.

In 2012, the city collected $3.2 million from about 40,000 red light traffic violations, that while paying almost $2 million to keep the cameras blinking.

Last year, 60,000 tickets were issued to red light runners, but that was only 24% of the total number of possible violations caught on camera. Some 67% of people paid those tickets last year.

Oates says, “There have been about 34% fewer car crashes at photo red light intersections since 2010. The numbers for accidents over the past three years read this way: 58 in 2010, 40 in 2011 when the city added 10 more systems, and 43 in 2012.  Rear-end crashes went down 53% from 46 in 2010 to 30 in 2011. In 2012, there were 34 rear-end accidents at the photo red light intersections."

"T-bone" crashes also down: 12 in 2010, 10 in 2011 and 9 in 2012.

Those who say the systems infringe upon their liberty claim, in light of reports about the National Security Agency’s surveillance techniques, many red light cameras are just another “Big Brother” move by police and the government.

Still, those on Council who voted to keep the systems for another year say, “The cameras are changing driving behavior, it’s a public safety issue!”

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