What are Intersection Safety Cameras?
Intersection Safety Cameras, also known as photo red light, consists of cameras installed at a specific intersection, in order to enforce traffic laws by photographing drivers when they run the red lights. The intersection safety cameras are connected to the traffic signals as well as sensors that monitor the traffic flow at the intersection's crosswalks. The traffic signal is continuously monitored by the system and the cameras are triggered when a vehicle enters the intersection at a pre-established minimum speed and following a specific amount of time after the signal has turned red. Cameras record the date, time of day, time elapsed since the beginning of the red signal, and vehicle speed.
Typically, there are four photographs mailed to each offender, which include the vehicle as it is entering the intersection after the light turns red, a close-up of the driver's face, a close-up of the vehicle's license plate, and the vehicle exiting the intersection.
Why Intersection Safety Cameras?
See intersection safety cameras in action: Video 1, Video 2, Video 3, Video 4, Video 5, Video 6, Video 7, Video 8, Video 9, Video 10.
For the benefits of intersection safety cameras, please read this recent article in the Washington Post.
The most frequent traffic complaint received by the Tualatin Police Department involves "Red Light Violators". Intersection safety camera enforcement has shown to be a more cost effective, safer method of decreasing red light violations. The conviction rate has also proven to be higher. Statistics not only show a decrease in red light violations, but also a significant decrease in injury crashes resulting from drivers running red lights.
In order for police to have a substantial impact on red light violations at an intersection, they would have to constantly be present at that intersection. This would take several officers being assigned strictly to one location, which is not feasible, nor does it provide a benefit to the rest of the city. The benefit of the intersection safety camera system is that it can be present at the designated intersection all of the time.
Another benefit is safety. When an officer stops a violator in traffic, the risk to the officer's safety as well as the driver greatly increases. In addition, surrounding traffic becomes more congested. The intersection safety camera system enables traffic to continue to move smoothly and allow officers to safely provide their services to other citizens in need.
Tualatin Traffic Facts
Intersections in Tualatin with the highest crash/injury rates:
•Nyberg Street & Interstate 5 (both intersections)
•Tualatin-Sherwood Road & Boones Ferry Road
•Tualatin-Sherwood Road & Martinazzi Avenue
•Lower Boones Ferry Road & Bridgeport Road/72nd Avenue
Citations written for disobeying a traffic control device:
•2004 = 373
•2005 = 411
•2006 = 572
•2007 = 509
•2008 = 490
•2009 = 374
What Other Cities in Oregon Use Intersection Safety Cameras?
•City of Beaverton
•City of Medford
•City of Newberg
•City of Salem
•City of Albany
•City of Milwaukie
•City of Sherwood
When and How Did Tualatin Decide On Intersection Safety Cameras?
Intersection safety cameras were first mentioned during the 2006-2007 City of Tualatin budget process. It was mentioned again during the 2007-2008 budget process, at which time it was further discussed and the members of the Tualatin City Council directed the police department to do further research. A presentation was given by Tualatin's Police Chief, Kent Barker, to the Tualatin City Council in September 2007. It was at this time and at the direction of the members of the Tualatin City Council to enter into a letter of intent to have a vendor conduct an evaluation of the most dangerous intersections in Tualatin.
In December 2007, a survey/evaluation was conducted by Redflex at the top four intersections in Tualatin with the highest crash/injury rates, at that time. The results of the study confirmed that the highest number of red light violations were at Lower Boones Ferry Road and Bridgeport Road/72nd Avenue.
In May 2008, the results of the survey/evaluation were brought to a city council work session. The members of the Tualatin City Council directed Chief Barker and the City of Tualatin to enter into a contract with Redflex to install up to eight intersection safety camera systems within the city, but to start with just one intersection first. The intersection selected was Lower Boones Ferry Road at Bridgeport Road/72nd Avenue.
In November 2009, a second survey/evaluation was conducted by Redflex at the intersections with a high crash/injury rate. The results confirmed that the highest number of red-light violations were at Tualatin-Sherwood Road and Avery Street.
At this time, the only two intersections with intersection safety camera systems are:
•Lower Boones Ferry Road and Bridgeport Road/72nd Avenue
•Tualatin-Sherwood Road and Avery Street
The company, Redflex Traffic Systems, Built the system, Owns the system, Operates the system, and Maintains the system. This is known as the BOOM model. The only cost to the City of Tualatin was staff time to install signs at all of the entrances to the city and just prior to the two effected intersections. Redflex paid for the signs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are intersection safety camera tickets more expensive than a regular ticket?
No. Intersection safety camera tickets are the same cost as a ticket personally issued by an officer for failing to obey a traffic control device. This fee is currently set at $287-$400, depending on if an accident is the result of the violation or the violation takes place in a school zone.
Can Tualatin legally install intersection safety cameras?
Yes. HB2508 was passed. Intersection safety cameras can be installed in any city regardless of population.
Do intersection safety cameras work?
Yes. Local statistics show a reduction in injury crashes of more than 65% from the first year the system was installed and a decrease of almost 40% in red light running violations.
I heard that I can watch a video recording of my photo red light ticket. How do I access it?
Go to the Website: www.photonotice.com Enter the City Code: TULTOR then follow the instructions to view a 12 second video of the violation for which you have received a citation. You will need both your citation number and your license plate to access your video.
What do I do if I receive an intersection safety camera ticket?
Drivers are given the same rights with intersection safety camera tickets as they are with any traffic violation. Drivers may respond by mail or appear in court. They may plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. For more information on how to respond to intersection safety camera tickets, please contact the City of Tualatin Municipal Court (503) 691-3025.
What if I receive an intersection safety camera ticket in my name, but I wasn't driving my vehicle?
Included with every ticket is a Certificate of Innocence Form, which allows the registered owner to have the ticket dismissed if they are not the driver of the vehicle. If the person named as the registered owner fails to respond, a default judgment may be entered for failure to appear.
What if the light is yellow or green when I first enter an intersection that has an intersection safety camera?
Drivers will only be photographed and ticketed if they enter the intersection after the light turns red.
Traffic Citation Process
1.Initial Redflex Screening of image of violation
2.Tualatin Police Officer reviews image of violation and determines if violation occurred
3.A Tualatin Police Officer makes final decision on whether a citation is issued or rejected
4.If image is accepted by Tualatin Police Officer, then citation gets mailed to violator
5.Defendant responds to citation
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