Redflex traffic cameras about to become reality

As everyone may recall, the City entered into a contract with Redflex Traffic Systems in 2010. Redflex provides red light traffic cameras that identify red-light runners for police and aid traffic accident investigations. We have waited nearly three years for Redflex to get permits from the Oregon Department of Transportation to install a photo-stoplight system at the Highway 99E and Highway 214 intersection due to the difficulty involved with safely enforcing traffic laws at that intersection. Original plans called for traffic loops to be cut into the pavement to operate the system, which ODOT opposed.

However, Redflex developed new technology using radar instead of ground loops, thereby reducing the intrusion into the road surface. While this seemed like a simple change to the City, it required the resubmission of plans to ODOT. This occurred more than a month ago and Redflex representatives have told the City the cameras will be installed by the end of August.

What takes place after the cameras are installed should be of great interest to the public. The first 30 days the cameras are installed will be a “warning period.” What does that mean? Anyone who runs a red light at that intersection will receive a “warning ticket” in the mail. Beginning October 1, however, citations will begin being mailed out to all offenders.

Because of the barriers set up at that intersection, it is nearly impossible for our traffic officers to properly and safely patrol. That is the main reason the City contracted with Redflex, which also has contracts with Salem, Hillsboro, Sherwood, Beaverton and Tualatin.

One common misnomer is that Redflex issues tickets. That is incorrect. The Woodburn Police Department will review all infractions and determine if a violation occurred, and if so, will issue the $260 ticket, which will then get mailed out.

Once individuals receive a ticket, you will be able to go online and check out still photos and video of your alleged infraction.

This is a good thing for the safety of motorists in that area. That intersection has numerous wrecks and close calls because people get in a hurry and run through the red light. What we really hope is that the cameras will act as a deterrent and less people will run through red lights and be more aware entering that intersection.

Redflex has also submitted permits for a red light camera at Hardcastle and Highway 99E. That, however, still needs ODOT’s approval and who knows how long that could take.

I know there is a perception out there that the City is doing this to bring in more money. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Our goal, and I say this will all honesty, is that we get to the point where there are no tickets and no more accidents at the intersection of Highway 214 and 99E.

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