Red light camera installation delayed

cover_large1In a recent Hook cover story [Seeing Red: Safety measure or cash grab?] County officials said the area's first red light camera system would be up and running at the intersection of Route 29 North and Rio Road on October 11, but drivers may have noticed the absence of any camera equipment. So what's the deal?

"Rain and utility delay," says County spokesperson Lee Catlin. "We are kind of day to day at this point pending the weather situation. We will announce a firm date as soon as it is available, we were hoping by this Friday, but that may not pan out given the rain."

According to County records, utility work includes $80,000 for the installation of an electric power pedestal within the VDOT right of way for the camera equipment, which will be paid by the company installing the cameras, says Catlin.

Thenewspaper.com, an online journal that covers the "politics of driving," recently ran a story analyzing the Engineering Safety Analysis that was done on the 29/Rio intersection over the summer, which you can read here.

16 comments

We need one of theses: "New camera can catch motorists committing five different offences"

http://swns.com/new-camera-can-catch-motorists-committing-five-different...

@DrKen- take a nap

Need to get a good editor - the camera is scheduled to go at the intersection of Rt. 29N and Rio Road, NOT Rt. 20N and Rio Road as reported.

80 grand in utilities? One more line item on the unconscionable list.

Hey, how 'bout that Cantor.
.
.

Let's see if the increase the yellow time on that light, its already too short. My guess is they will shorten it since that will enhance revenue... err I mean safety.

I'm so glad we can spend a lot of money to make a lot of money off of something that could be easily fixed by adjusting the timing. I know the timing is already awful on 29, that's what makes it even better. I'm also glad we can spend this money, for the red light cameras, with a foreign company rather than spend the taxpayers money on a local company or on other services to help the community. But at least now we can make money off of something that is broken.

shame it couldn't be operational for the presidential motorcade. Even with no traffic I bet they hit at least 3 red lights coming South, no matter what speed they drive.

You can lengthen the yellow light all you want. All it will do is increase the number of people running the light, thinking they have more time to beat the light. Here's a novel idea: how about just stopping when the darn thing changes? If we all follow the law, then the company and county will earn absolutely nothing.

29 Commuter, the problem is when you are at the light and about to drive thru and it changes. They can shorten the light (won't need much) and there is no way to stop or get thru it.

Other states have found that these lights cause more accidents from people stopping suddenly - this isn't a safety issue, its to make money for the company putting them up and for the county.

Sorry, jmcnamera, but basic driving school tells you to leave a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. If there isn't enough distance for you to stop before running into the back of someone, you are too close. Whether it be a traffic light or some object/person/animal that jumps out into the roadway, you have to leave enough distance to stop your car.

As for the light changing when you get to it, you're not getting a ticket for yellow light running. If you get to the stop line and the light changes to red and you then still enter the intersection, then you get the ticket. If you're already in the intersection when the light goes red, you don't get the ticket. If you are traveling the posted speed limit, the yellow gives you the correct amount of time to stop at the line and not get a ticket.

Sure, maybe some localities are making money, but the easiest way to limit that is for people to actually stop on red. Save yourself some money and potentially someone's life and just stop on the red.

29 Commuter, do a reality check next time you are driving and where other people are in regards to you.

Also, the ticket is given if the light is red while you are in the zone. If you are crossing the line when the light turns yellow, how will you stop? If the yellow is too short to make it thru, you get a ticket.

Try reading this... it specifically discusses how the intersections don't have accidents today from red light running.

From an article at http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/33/3306.asp :

"At Rio Road, the yellow lasts 4.0 seconds for traffic facing a speed limit of 35 MPH. At US-29, however, the speed limit is 10 MPH faster and the intersection requires more time to traverse because it is 60 feet longer. Longer yellows are needed when speeds are faster and distances are greater, but US-29 is set at just 4.0 seconds, below even the short timings recommended by the Institute of Transportation Engineers guidelines."

Congratulations, jmcnamera! You were able to repost your comments and/or opinions without having them deleted again! I wasn't so lucky! :)

Typo. Not BBSOE but GBSOE

I think we actually depend upon people going through red lights at
both Rio and Hydraulic. The back up going south making the left
onto Hydraulic is bad now with 2-3 people "running the red". Add to that the new Whole Foods and everyone too gun shy to go through the amber light for fear of getting a ticket...OH BOY !
Once again, great planning.

$80K just for the utility INSTALLATION and that's being paid for by the company installing the cameras. As I said before when calling this whole thing a "devil's deal", this is all about money for the company with a bone being thrown to the locality which gets "enhanced safety" on the cheap. They'll pay off that $80K in a hurry with the rich harvest from already beleaguered commuters who aren't really "running red lights" so much as sneaking through what they know to be a slot in time.
As BBSOE so well points out the already rare T-bones resulting from this type of red light violation will be replaced by far more rear end collisions, many involving multiple vehicles, but that will be OK since that mayhem will be caused by attempts to comply with "the law' as opposed to that caused by people breaking the law.
This melding of private and public interests is pernicious and smacks of growing fascism. But we Americans are like the proverbial and maybe apocryphal frog in the pot who just doesn't notice he's being ever so gradually boiled.