Correction: This story has been updated to correct the number of traffic fatalities in recent years and the percentage increase over the time period referenced.
AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Update 7:20 p.m. Aurora City Council passed a one-year pilot program to equip the city with speed cameras.
Violators will be issued a $40 citation. The program will include three vans equipped with a photo radar system. Neighbors will get a 30-day notification of van locations.
The vendor is Conduent, which was going to run a red-light camera program that voters rejected.
Councilors Dustin Zvonek and Curtis Gardner voted against the measure.
Original: A big increase in the number of traffic fatalities is one of the reasons Aurora may soon have photo radar enforcement.
The City of Aurora says many people have complained about speeding and dangerous driving in neighborhoods, and the city is hoping the new photo enforcement will help slow people down.
The speed cameras, if approved, would be similar to those already being used in Denver. They would be part of a one-year pilot program.
Suncha Howard, who lives near East 16th Street and Geneva Avenue, said something has to be done to slow drivers down.
“Man, it’s dangerous. It’s really dangerous,“ Howard said.
FOX31 was told cars have crashed into at least one home in this neighborhood. Parked cars have also been hit by vehicles zooming by at high speeds. Aurora has also been dealing with an onslaught of street racing that has citizens complaining.
Aurora voters already turned down red-light cameras
It’s not clear if the ordinance will pass, as voters turned down red-light cameras three years ago.
Money generated for photo radar tickets will go to pay for traffic calming measures. Those traffic calming measures, like narrowing streets, would slow traffic more than cameras, said Aurora Council Member Ward IV Juan Marcano.
“That, I know, does actually generate the results we and our residents are looking for,” Marcano said. Marcano said he plans to vote for the ordinance, which could help people like Krysii Love.
“What happens, they just come zooming down the street. They’ll hit the corner, they’ll hit my car and keep going,” Love said.
Council Member Danielle Jurinsky said she’s not sure how she’ll vote just yet. Jurinsky said she must weigh traffic safety with the will of the people, who have already said they didn’t want cameras at red lights.
Traffic deaths up 30% in Aurora
Aurora’s city council is considering approving the use of photo radar because of increasing traffic deaths. In all of 2019, there were 33 fatalities. The city saw 43 traffic deaths in 2021. That’s a 30% increase in two years. As of July 11, there have been 21 traffic deaths in 2022, which is roughly on pace with last year.
Love isn’t sure speed-camera tickets will fix anything.
“I doubt it. why not? People are still driving and they drive how they feel,” Love added.
For now, the residents say they’ll just have to deal with speeding cars. They would welcome the cameras, they’re just not sure they’d ever come here.
The Aurora City Council meets Monday night at 6:30 p.m.