Warnings end, citations begin for Richmond red light cameras - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Warnings end, citations begin for Richmond red light camera runners Monday

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Starting Monday morning, if you are caught on camera running the red lights at the intersection of Elkhardt and Hull Streets in Richmond, you'll no longer get a warning, but an actual citation.

Since December, Richmond Police have issued more than 1,000 warnings to red light runners caught on these cameras. Now, starting 9 o'clock Monday morning, those notices will become violations that could cost you $50.

It will take just about a week from the time violators are caught on camera until they get a notice in the mail.

"The violation will have a picture of the vehicle before it enters the intersection, a picture of the vehicle's license plate and a picture of the vehicle in the intersection with the light red," Richmond Police Lt. William Kelly explained.

This counts as a civil infraction. There are no points on your license, just the $50 fine.  If you wish to fight it, there'll be information in the letter on how to get in touch with the right people at the police department.

"We'll actually show them video," Lt. Kelly said. "We have video of the violation and talk to them about options."

There's been quite a bit of criticism about these cameras. Some say they cause accidents because people slam on the brakes to avoid getting a violation. Others believe they're not about safety, but money-makers for localities. Friday, the police department said it is not in a position to talk about those issues.

"Our goals aren't to catch violators," Lt. Kelly emphasized. "Our goals are to make sure people obey the law and make those intersections in the streets of the city safe."

The citations were supposed to begin after a thirty-day warning period, but Lt. Kelly told us some changes were necessary in order to make the system fair.

"We just tweaked the system, made some adjustments to how the time/distance/speed calculation is triggered," he added. "We went to loops in the ground to a radar system attached to a pole to give us a more complete picture."

The intersection at Elkhardt and Hull Streets was chosen as the first to have the red light cameras because it is consistently among the top ten intersections for crashes in the city each year.

For more information about Richmond's red light cameras, click here:
http://www.richmondgov.com/police/RedLightCameras.aspx

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