October 19, 2017
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Red light cameras installed; warnings begin Sunday

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A red light camera can be seen at the corner of Arlington Boulevard and Fire Tower Road on Oct. 11, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Crews in Greenville have completed the installation of cameras to catch red light runners, and the city will begin issuing warning tickets on Sunday, officials said.

According to Kristen Hunter, public information officer for the Greenville Police department, the cameras were installed during the last week and staff is testing them in preparation for the warning period. 

Hunter said some residents may see the cameras flash due to the equipment’s self-testing operations, but tickets will not be issued until Sunday, when the 30-day warning period begins.

Motorists who violate traffic laws at the intersections will be ticketed starting Nov. 15. The violations are civil infractions, which means motorists have to pay a $100 fine but no points will be assessed on their license. There is an additional $100 late fee if the fine is not paid on time.

American Traffic Solutions installed 10 cameras at five intersections: Charles Boulevard and 14th Street, Charles Boulevard and Fire Tower Road, Arlington Boulevard and Fire Tower Road, Arlington and Greenville boulevards, and Arlington Boulevard and South Memorial Drive.

Signage will alert drivers to the presence of cameras as an added deterrent. The Public Works Department will install the signage throughout the week. Hunter said residents who violate the red lights can expect to see warning tickets in the mail two or three weeks later. 

Revenue from the fines will be used to pay for the installation and operation of the cameras, and any extra revenue will go to Pitt County Schools, she said.

Based on figures from Fayetteville, which also has a red light camera program operated by American Traffic Solutions, it is expected that about 43 citations will be issued each day and that $1.3 million will go to Pitt County Schools. The cost of the program is $2.5 million.

Fayetteville experienced a 46-percent reduction in crashes at their red light camera intersections, according to Lt. Mike Broadwell with Greenville police.

Citations are mailed to the registered owner of the car. Even if the owner was not the driver who ran the red light, the owner will be responsible for paying the civil fine. No points will be added to a owner’s driving record, and in some cases, the owner can fill out a form to transfer liability to the driver of the vehicle, Broadwell said.

The system works by anticipating, based on speed, when someone is going to run a red light. That alerts the camera, which takes a photo as the car approaches the stop line or stop bar then takes another photo of the car in the intersection.

Drivers are in violation if the front of their vehicle enters the intersection after the light turns red. American Traffic Solutions sends images of those vehicles to the Greenville Police Department, where an officer will review them to determine whether a ticket is warranted.

After a person gets the ticket, he or she can go online, use the code on the ticket and watch the video of their vehicle running the red light. If the owner doesn’t think the video shows the vehicle running the red light, the person can appeal the ticket.

Contact Seth Gulledge at sgulledge@reflector.com or 252-329-9579.

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