Cameras at Knoxville intersections catch red light runners

Cameras at Knoxville intersections catch red light runners

April 24, 2006

By AMELIA GRAHAM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The first set of 10 red light cameras is up and running at the intersection of Cumberland Avenue and Alcoa Highway.

Capt. Gordon Catlett, with the Knoxville Police Department, explains how it works. "There are actually sensors in the road so that when a car crosses the white line after the light turns red, a camera snaps a picture."

And that's not all. The system is also equipped with a video camera.

Catlett says, "That information is sent electronically to Red Flex Traffic Systems, who verifies the information requests a records check through Nashville and the registered owner of the vehicle."

Once the data is collected, it goes to the police department so an officer can verify the violation and mail a citation.

The owner can pay the fine or appeal. Catlett says the citation does not affect the points on a driver's license.

Nine other intersections will get systems soon.

While police say their number one priority is safety, this system isn't costing the city one dime. In fact, it's a money-maker.

Chief Sterling Owen, IV says "It's a $50 ticket if one pays it on time and it will split 85 percent to the vendor, 15 percent to the city up until a threshold number of tickets being written per intersection."

Eventually, the vendor and the city will split the ticket money 50-50.

There is a 30-day grace period, starting the day of activation, so police will send warning letters to all offenders, letting them know they've been caught.

You can look for the cameras at the following locations in the coming months:

Cedar Bluff Road and I-40 Westbound Exit
Henley Street and Cumberland Avenue
Kingston Pike and Alcoa Highway Southbound Exit
Cedar Bluff Road and Peters Road
Kingston Pike and Alcoa Highway Northbound Exit
Henley Street and Clinch Avenue
Lovell Road and I-40 Westbound Exit
Henley Street/Broadway and Western Avenue/Summit Hill
Kingston Pike and Papermill Drive
Clinton Highway and Tillery Road

The reason police selected those intersections is because they have the highest number of angle crashes.

Capt. Catlett says angle crashes, such a T-bones are caused by drivers running red lights.

If you would like more information on the Knoxville Red Light Photo Enforcement Program, you can call the Customer Service Center toll-free at (877) 84-SAFE-T.

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