Daily Herald
Aurora: 43 percent fewer accidents at red-light camera spots
By Justin Kmitch | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/24/2010 8:42 AM | Updated: 3/24/2010 3:15 PM

Red-light cameras installed last September at three of Aurora's busiest intersections have reduced crashes and generated the expected revenue.

Since the cameras went live on Oct. 20, 2009, 2,750 notices have been sent to drivers caught on camera violating various rules of the road at the intersections of New York Street and Farnsworth Avenue, New York Street and Commons Drive and for north and southbound Farnsworth and Molitor, police Chief Greg Thomas told aldermen Tuesday.

All told, there were 3,623 violations, which includes 873 warnings issued during the first month grace period, Thomas said.

The city netted about $35,000 a month, but there also has been a 43 percent reduction in accidents, not only at the intersections with cameras but at nearby locations, he said.

The five cameras catch motorists entering intersections after the light turns red and record several still photographs and a 12-second video of the violation.

After being reviewed by three trained technicians at REDFLEX, the company supplying the technology, the video is sent to police who review it to determine if officers would have written a citation had they witnessed it.

If approved by the officer, a notice outlining the $100 fine is sent to the vehicle's owner within 20 days. The owner then has 21 days to either pay or contest the fine through an administrative hearing judge.

Drivers in Aurora are not ticketed for turning right on red unless officers reviewing the film determine a safety infraction.

The contract would allow up to 20 cameras to be installed throughout the city, but officials have not discussed such plans.

Mayor Tom Weisner touted the cameras' effectiveness after Thomas' presentation.

"I think that takes care of some conventional wisdom on these things that, number one, it doesn't reduce accidents, when clearly it has," he said. "And obviously there is some revenue generation from it but the main purpose here is to reduce accidents and we've been effective in doing that."