Avoiding red light camera tickets? There's an app for that

Avoiding red light camera tickets? There's an app for that

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There are a total 15 red light camera intersections in Knoxville. This year alone, over 16,000 citations have been sent out to violators. There are a total 15 red light camera intersections in Knoxville. This year alone, over 16,000 citations have been sent out to violators.
Phantom Alert gives users a heads up to an approaching red light camera intersection. Phantom Alert gives users a heads up to an approaching red light camera intersection.
"If it assists somebody in being safer and it does not distract them, then we have no problem with it," said Knoxville Police Deputy Chief Gary Price. "If it assists somebody in being safer and it does not distract them, then we have no problem with it," said Knoxville Police Deputy Chief Gary Price.

By BO WILLIAMS
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It's that one photo you were hoping to never have snapped.

Since their arrival in Knoxville six years ago, red light cameras have been a constant topic of debate.

"People ought to obey traffic laws," said Knoxville motorist Mark Van Doren. "On the other hand, it kind of smacks you in the face of due process by being hit up with a letter in the mail that you violated something on such and such a date and you really don't have any recourse against it."

Love them or hate them, there are a total 15 red light camera intersections in Knoxville. This year alone, over 16,000 citations have been sent out to violators.

But now, there is help in the form of a free app you can download to your phone. It's called Phantom Alert and its purpose is to give you a heads up to an approaching red light camera intersection.

The concept is welcomed by Knoxville police.

"If it assists somebody in being safer and it does not distract them, then we have no problem with it," said Knoxville Police Deputy Chief Gary Price.

The Morristown Police Department agreed.

"We feel these apps could be beneficial to some motorists as long as they do not have to manipulate the phone, which could divert their attention from the roadway," a spokesperson said in a news release.

So the question is - does it really work? We tested the app at three Knoxville red light camera intersections.

In two of the three interchanges, a voice alert warned us of the approaching red light camera intersection and told us to slow down. The only intersection where we were not warned was Henley Street at Summit Hill Drive.

We also noticed, that during the times we were alerted, it came at about the same time the city's red light camera traffic signs appeared along the side of the road.

It's important to note that the app drained our battery faster than normal, so keep that in mind if your phone is low on charge.

As far as the intersections themselves, Knoxville Police said so far this year, the worst areas for violations are Cedar Bluff Road at Interstate 40, Chapman Highway at Greene Lane and Cedar Bluff Road at Peters Road.

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