20 red light cameras coming to Richmond

Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Plans to put red light cameras at 20 intersections around Richmond are moving forward.  Two companies have bid on the project, but the city has yet to name the winner.

The proposal launched an NBC12 investigation this week into where these cameras might go and will they work.

There will be signs warning you. The camera will take your picture and you'll get a ticket in the mail.

The intersection of Hull and Elkhardt streets is actually the sixth most dangerous intersection in the city -- according to statistics from 2009 -- and one of many possible candidates for cameras.

It wasn't hard to find people blowing through red lights in the city.

In 2009, city police wrote 1,583 tickets to drivers who ran red lights. That's five percent of all the tickets they issued last year.

The mayor's spokesperson said last week red light cameras will free up more officers. But folks on the street worry the cameras will take away their freedom.

"Any kind of little freedom you have they want to have the police police it. That doesn't surprise me in the least," said William Brown.

"I am about less government, less invasive," said William Tyndall. "I think we need to be able to put cameras on them."

There are 480 traffic lights in Richmond. The city has not revealed where these cameras will go, but we can tell you, three of the top five most dangerous intersections in the city are on Broad Street.

Broad and Harrison by the Siegel Center is number one on the list, with 18 crashes last year.

"Are you kidding? I didn't know that," said Ezekia Afari. "Maybe because there's a lot of activity going around."

Robert E. Lee sees the second most number of accidents from his perch at Monument and Allen, but this is traffic circle and cameras definitely aren't coming here.

Broad and Belvidere could be a candidate, it's number three on the list with 14 crashes in 2009. Broad and Thompson is another hot spot. Tied for number three with 14 crashes.

And the city plans to rotate the cameras as intersections become a problem.

Again the city has not awarded the project just yet, and will seek input from VDOT.  So it could be a few more months before the cameras are put in place.

What are the 10 worst intersections for accidents in the City of Richmond? A hint: Broad Street made the list three times.

According to statistics from the Richmond Police Department, the intersection of Broad and Harrison streets ranks the worst with 18 accidents in 2009. That busy intersection is in the middle of the Virginia Commonwealth University Monroe Park campus at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

Top 10 intersections for most accidents in Richmond for 2009
Broad & Harrison - 18
Monument & Allen - 16
Belvidere & Broad - 14
Broad & Thompson - 14
Cowardin & Semmes - 14
Hull & Elkhardt - 13
Boulevard & I-95 - 13
Belvidere & Leigh - 13
Belvidere & Clay - 12
Franklin & 1st - 12

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.