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Hagerstown considers installing red light cameras

December 01, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown is considering whether to install cameras at intersections to help nab motorists who run red lights.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said the City Council plans to discuss the issue during a work session Tuesday.

Statistics show the cameras could reduce accidents and red-light violations by 40 percent to 50 percent, Smith said.

"The benefit is traffic safety," Smith said. "The system in general has been proven all over the world."

Smith said there would be no cost to the city. The camera company, Nestor Traffic Systems of Providence, R.I., has agreed to provide and install the equipment for free in exchange for a yet-to-be-determined portion of the ticket revenues, Smith said.

Smith said he didn't know how many cameras would be installed until the city's police and engineering departments review traffic data to determine the most appropriate places.

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Smith said the cameras are equipped with a collision-avoidance device that would delay the changing of a traffic light when the system detects that an oncoming vehicle is traveling too fast to stop.

The result would be to protect vehicles waiting for the light to change from being hit.

Nestor Traffic Systems would send the police department data from the cameras so officers could review and decide whether someone ran a red light, Smith said. If a violation is spotted, the motorist would receive a fine in the mail.

The fine had not been determined as of Monday.

Smith said people who don't pay the fine would have their vehicle tags suspended.

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