AURORA | City Council members signaled support Monday night for a 13-month pilot project of three vehicle-based photo speed cameras, which could be set up in residential areas or school zones to deter speeding.
Chris Carleton of Aurora’s Police Department said one vehicle could be set up in each of the police department’s three districts. Violations captured on camera by the devices would be reviewed — either by a police officer, or, pending an amendment to city code, a non-sworn civilian employee — before a driver could be cited.
“The districts could address the speeding concerns in their particular areas of responsibility as the complaints come in,” Carleton said.
“We project that they would be mobile units,” said Scott Stewart of Conduent, one of the firms that Carleton said may be chosen to provide technology for the city. “You’ve got a lot of flexibility, so you could deploy wherever you saw an uptick in these incidents.”
This wouldn’t be the city’s first foray into traffic-related photo programs. The city removed 14 cameras at 10 intersections in 2019 after nearly two-thirds of voters decided to end the red light program, which generated more than $2.5 million per year. About half of that was set aside for local mental health programs and organizations that provide resources to people experiencing homelessness or assist domestic violence victims.
Much like the proposed photo speed cameras, designated staff would review violations.
According to police, traffic deaths increased 54% between 2019 and 2021, an upward trend that is continuing in 2022. Council members expressed their unanimous support for the pilot program, which would begin with a month of warnings issued before the department began issuing citations and fines.
The council did not oppose a suggestion by Coffman that proceeds from the program be used to offset operating costs, with any surplus dedicated to traffic calming projects.