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First month of red light cameras results in $334,000 in fines

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Red light cameras were installed at five intersections throughout the city. During both the warning period and first month, the intersection of Arlington and Greenville boulevards saw the greatest number of tickets by far.

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By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Greenville’s new red light camera program collected almost $334,000 in fines during its first month of operation, according to information from the Greenville Police Department.

The department issued 3,336 tickets to drivers for violations recorded by cameras at five intersections between Nov. 15-Dec.15, the first month of operation for the new system that aims to reduce red light violations and crashes while funneling proceeds to Pitt County Schools.

At $100 per ticket, expected revenues for the month come to $333,600. The school system keeps $69.15 per ticket, totaling $227,348. American Traffic Solutions, which installed and maintains the system, gets $31.85 per ticket, or $106,251; the schools pay the City of Greenville $6,250 a month for an officer to issue tickets.

The number of tickets issued is slightly lower than the number issued during a one-month warning period, which resulted in 3,661 tickets. Police department spokeswoman Kristin Hunter said the department hopes that numbers will continue to drop each month that the cameras are active.

The cameras automatically record any vehicle that runs a red light at the intersections where they are installed. When the violation is reported, it is sent to ATS, where it is reviewed by two seperate reviewers, according to Hunter. Once the violation is reviewed at ATS, the report and footage of the incident are sent to a GPD officer responsible for reviewing the incident.

The officer has final authority on whether or not to issue the fine to the owner of the vehicle, a safeguard that Greenville Chief Mark Hotlzman said was necessary when the program was being considered by City Council in March.

Hunter said the cameras actually logged 3,391 violations during the period, 55 more than were ticketed. She said those 55 were rejected by the GPD officer for various reasons.

While the total number of tickets issued was tallied, Hunter said compiling an exact breakdown of violations at each intersection is more complicated. That data is available only after tickets have been mailed, and there is a delay between the time the officer approves a ticket and when it is mailed. Hunter said it is a problem the department is working to address.

However, numbers that are available show the intersection of Arlington and Greenville boulevards represents about 44 percent of the total tickets issued.

During both the warning period and first active month, the intersection saw the greatest number of tickets by far.

Three other intersections — Charles and 14th, Charles and Fire Tower and Arlington and Fire Tower — all saw a similar number of violations. The intersection of Memorial and Arlington saw the lowest percentage — about 9 percent.

Contact Seth Gulledge at sgulledge@reflector.com and 329-9579. Follow him on Twitter @GulledgeSeth.

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