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City to consider traffic light cameras
The city of Hinesville is considering installing a camera system at designated intersections. If approved, the system could go online within the next 60 to 90 days. - photo by Photo by John Deike
Hinesville drivers may soon see the implementation of red-light cameras to curb careless commuting.
The system could put into operation by Redflex Inc. in the next 60 to 90 days if a related ordinance is amended during the city council meeting April 19, Councilman Steve Troha said.
“This camera system will reduce crashes and improve driver awareness on some of our busiest and most congested intersections,” he said. “This system would pay for itself, generate further money for the city and it would take some of the pressure off the police.”
Hinesville Police Department Deputy Chief Julien Hodges agrees and believes it would be beneficial to motorists, and to his officers who could spend more time scouring the streets for criminals.
With a reduction of drivers running red lights, lethal wrecks could decrease, but there are possible drawbacks to the system besides the average $100 fine for each violation.
Redflex also has embedded cameras in some of Savannah’s crowded intersections with mixed results,Director of Traffic Engineering Mike Weiner said.
“Our number of serious or fatal accidents dropped, but our number of rear-end collisions has risen,” he said. “We did anticipate the increase, but we think the system is a very useful one as it saves lives and generates money for our city.”
Weiner said the cameras survey intersections where the speeds vary from 25 to 35 mph, which differs from the major intersections in Hinesville where the limit is predominantly 45 mph. With conceivably higher rear-end crash rates in Hinesville (upon the installation of this system) accompanied by higher speeds, these rear-end collisions pose a hazardous problem for drivers.
Also, if people contest violations in court, the camera and computer information would provide the testimony against the accused,  not a police officer who would have been on hand to witness the event.
“All in all, despite the criticisms, I believe these cameras are the way of the future, and I think they will do more good than bad,” Director of Planning Sally Dowling said.
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