Aurora’s worst intersections may get photo red-light cams

869

AURORA | Motorists could be seeing more red in the future as Aurora police are studying where additional, controversial photo red-light cameras could be located in the city.

Aurora police Lt. Michael McClelland told a City Council committee in August that the city’s photo red-light cameras are making most intersections safer, but that he would like to move some of them from where they are now to six of the city’s most-dangerous intersections.

“Mississippi and Sable is number one,” McClelland said of the city intersection to have the most injuries — 28 — over a five-year period.  According to traffic data compiled by Aurora police between 2010 and 2015, the five other most-dangerous intersections in the city are at Peoria Street and Iliff Street, Quincy Road and Chambers Road, Iliff Avenue and Blackhawk Street, Peoria Street and Yale Avenue, and Smoky Hill Road and Buckley Road.

“Does it make sense to move these installations?” asked Aurora Councilman Bob Broom during the meeting. “Why not just add sites?”

McClelland said some intersections with photo red-light, such as the intersection of Mississippi and Abilene, have not seen decreased traffic accidents, and that crashes have increased over the past five years.

“That’s an intersection where it doesn’t seem like it’s working,” he said.

He added that the cost to move a potential photo red light camera to another intersection would be about $70,000.

He said police have money to move some of the photo red-light installations, but that they remain uncertain of whether council will keep the photo red light program in place, given the controversy it has garnered at the state level.

For the past three years state lawmakers have attempted to make the  photo red light systems illegal, and lawmakers as well as residents are divided on Aurora using the program.

In June, the governor vetoed two bills: one that would have required the issue to go to the ballot for voter approval, and another that would have banned the cameras outright.

He said the bills went too far and suggested lawmakers pass a bill that limits the scope of the cameras to school and construction zones and areas with a high rate of pedestrian and traffic accidents.

“Mississippi and Sable is number one,” McClelland said of the city intersection to have the most injuries — 28 — over a five-year period.  According to traffic data compiled by Aurora police between 2010 and 2015, the five other most-dangerous intersections in the city are at Peoria Street and Iliff Street, Quincy Road and Chambers Road, Iliff Avenue and Blackhawk Street, Peoria Street and Yale Avenue, and Smoky Hill Road and Buckley Road.

Broom said he had hoped the issue would go to Aurora voters this fall so that council could draft an ordinance to ban the cameras.

The issue will likely come up in the 2016 legislative session. In June, state Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, told The Colorado Statesman he is drafting a bill for next year that would include the governor’s suggestions.

Last year, city council voted to renew a two-year contract with Xerox, the company which administers the photo red-light system.

To get ticketed for running a red light in Aurora, Xerox has to first make sure the videotape shows the driver’s face, license plate, the red light, and that the light had turned red at least 0.2 seconds before the driver entered the intersection. Drivers who don’t fully stop behind the white lines of the crosswalk aren’t cited for red light-infractions, under Aurora’s photo red light program.

Then, the tape is reviewed by Aurora police, who “reject any potential violation that is questionable,” according to city documents.

Aurora’s city coffers see more than $1 million a year from photo red-light tickets. Some of that money goes toward a program called “Nexus” that relies on nearly $500,000 from photo red-light fines, and could be vulnerable. The program supports nonprofits that provide a substantial service to law enforcement.

McClelland said Aurora police had also compiled data on the five most-dangerous state highway intersections in the city, but that police would like to focus on local intersections for where new cameras could be placed.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
19 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Aldo Elmnight
Aldo Elmnight
5 years ago

A summons (ticket) can only be served in person. A mailed “ticket” can be thrown away. If the police wanted to ticket you for the infraction they would have have to serve you in person which rarely happens.

kygal
kygal
5 years ago
Reply to  Aldo Elmnight

Don’t agree with Aldo. Ignore the fine, you will eventually get served in person. Ignore that, a hold will be put on your drivers license, and cannot renew it until fine is paid, plus 4 points on your driving record. Take a chance if you think it might work. I dislike red light cameras too, very unfair, and one of the many reasons we moved to a smaller community outside of my home state.

Aldo Elmnight
Aldo Elmnight
5 years ago
Reply to  kygal

If you get served in person then you treat it like a normal traffic ticket. If anyone has had one of these tickets served in person, please comment…

ezaspie
ezaspie
5 years ago
Reply to  Aldo Elmnight

He is saying nonsense. It is a civil matter. Ignore it, they send a person to serve it. If you actually get served you can not safely ignore these, and must appear in court. They do serve often, especially in aurora, but if you can dodge them for 90 days they have no legal standing to collect. You will never accrue points. It is a civil matter. Not a criminal one. This also mean if you successfully dodge them they try and collect via a collection agency. People fight and win these all the time. Keep up the good fight aldo, these are unconstitutional and prey on convenience and bully tactics. I cannot face my accuser when they are only 1’s and 0’s.

Youn Aurora Conservative
Youn Aurora Conservative
5 years ago
Reply to  kygal

kygal, I do not see how getting a red light ticket can eventually become a suspended license? The camera is only capturing the license plate…?

Joe Hardhat
Joe Hardhat
5 years ago

Heck, I’d be willing to add cameras to a few dozen more intersections around the city and collect a lot more money, under one condition … that our property taxes are reduced by the amount of fines collected minus the cost of equipment plus maintenance. Probably most of the fines would be collected from the most irresponsible drivers, who tend to be renters. Lets make taxpayers out of them and at the same time give homeowners a break.

gofastgo
gofastgo
5 years ago
Reply to  Joe Hardhat

I believe most are the same ones who don’t have insurance, driving a car without proper plates, etc. Renters? I don’t know, but the connection is that they are transient, which makes that correct. These types don’t pay attention to anything. If you read about those who are arrested after a high speed chase, sound like home owners, nah. And those certainly don’t pay for red light tickets, the address they gave is wrong, the car is stolen, whatever.

Young Aurora Conservative
Young Aurora Conservative
5 years ago
Reply to  gofastgo

gofastgo, I see you are a bit more on the logical side; It can really happen to all of us. Maybe getting distracted while getting an emergency phone call or having a bad day at work or having a loved in the hospital. come on people!

Young Aurora Conservative
Young Aurora Conservative
5 years ago
Reply to  Joe Hardhat

Joe Hardhat, property taxes are handled at the county level, not the city; no connection here. I cannot believe you just stated that ‘the renters are the irresponsible drivers’ WOW! Would it be ok for me to say that most of the whiners and complainers in Aurora are old and older?

gofastgo
gofastgo
5 years ago

I got one of these the other day, (haven’t received it yet) Buckley and Iliff, turning off
Buckley to Westbound Iliff, short light, knew better, but followed a car through, they slowed down(nearly stopped, poor driver) rounding the corner and the light flashed on me, my fault, sure. But it makes me a non-believer in red light cameras.

Denyce
Denyce
5 years ago

Where do they get the $70,000 price tag to relocate a camera??? Oh yeah, it’s the gov’t but don’t they have electricians on the payroll? Aurorans, populations are increasing so there will be more accidents. Drivers in the metro area used to be law abiding and courteous 20-30 years ago, but not anymore. People seem to do what ever they want. I call it the me, me, me syndrome. I don’t live there anymore…

Denyce
Denyce
5 years ago

Additionally may I add, why can’t we all just drive with courtesy????? Think of the tax dollars we could all save if we just did what we’re suppose to. I remember the Denver Metro area in the days following 9/11, I saw courtesy happen in spades! What a wonderful few days of caring and hurting. jus sayin’

Cliff Wagner
Cliff Wagner
5 years ago

The red light cameras are a great safety innovation … in AZ we have a problem with enforcing the citations issued. It would be stupid to outlaw them … they save lives!

Jarrett
Jarrett
5 years ago

I was cited for going 0.3 seconds (17 mph) over, and the commercial truck in front of me blocked my view of the light. I went to court and the judge accepted it was an accident but was not sympathetic, and I was ordered to pay the full $75. Made it pretty obvious it was about the money and not public safety. Computers run by Xerox should not hand out traffic tickets.

das codger
das codger
5 years ago

Once again emotion, belief, and hope are used to justify red light cameras. The last study the Police department did on intersections and red light cameras showed there was no reduction of injury accidents at intersections with red light cameras and in fact the number of accidents acctually increased by 8% in 2012 over accidents reported at the same intersections in 2011.

The Police Department used “report of injuries” as injuries in oreder to produce an efficacious. City Council rather than asking for a scientific study jumped on the police departments efficacy to justify their use of red light cameras to raise revenue.

How much revenue one may ask. According the the State of Colorado, Aurora raises 47% of the total revenue raised from red light cameras in Colorado. Aurora raises three time more revenue from red light cameras that Denver does.

Retiree
Retiree
5 years ago

I got nailed in Denver by one of those cameras. Made me really careful not to run red lights. A few months later on S Havana, I braked to make a red that started up and got rear-ended to the tune of $5,000. Yup, those cameras save lives and prevent accidents.

If Aurora was really interested in preventing accidents and saving lives, each of these intersections would have flashing warning signs (“Red Light Cameras On!”) starting about 500 yards before the intersection. The cameras themselves would have flashing red lights on them. But if you spent all that money on these things, and then made sure everybody obeyed the law, they wouldn’t pay for themselves.

Nope, Aurora’s just going ka-ching to collect taxes in a whole new way.

Connie
Connie
5 years ago
Reply to  Retiree

I would like to see a countdown to the red light. Not the pedestrian countdown either. A countdown to the red light would help people plan accordingly whether to stop or hurry up and go.

DiegoHenry
DiegoHenry
5 years ago

James Holmes was flashed by an Aurora camera about a week before his rampage. Was that the “final straw” that set him off?

Ashley In Aurora
Ashley In Aurora
5 years ago

Aurora won’t give up an extra mill in revenue. This is about fast cash not, safety. The distance between Peoria and Iliff – Peoria and Yale, you could practically throw a rock from one intersection and hit the other. Assign an officer to work that zone. Oh, you can’t because they’re all reacting to things like, my 8 year old is out of control and I want a cop here to make him behave. In addition to the arrival of more illegals and very little additional hiring of officer’s to handle the influx in a sanctuary city.