PASCO, Wash. - The city of Pasco has begun installing electronic traffic control systems, or red light cameras, at the intersection of Burden Boulevard and Road 68 and the intersection of Court Street and 20th Avenue.
In a press release, the city says the heightened population has increased traffic and accidents. A particular concern is "t-bone" accidents from people running red lights at the intersections where the cameras are being installed.
Since police officers are unable to constantly monitor the intersections, the city believes the cameras can help enforce traffic laws and increase safety.
The city evaluated the decision for several months before presenting the proposal to the city council and the public. The city selected Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. to provide the ETC systems. The system will only record vehicles entering the intersection while the light is red. If the light turns red while the vehicle is in the intersection, the camera will not take a photo.
Police will evaluate the photos and determine if a violation was committed. If so, an infraction notice will be issued to the driver. The violation will be sent in the mail to either be paid or contested in court. The alleged violator can also view the recorded image of the incident online.
Pasco City Manager Dave Zabell said all revenue generated from the ETC program will be used to cover the costs of the system and fund traffic safety improvements.
"With all other options reviewed, traffic volumes increasing and red light related incidents at high levels," Zabell said, "the need to do something effective and efficient that will make a positive impact to public safety is important."
Once the system is installed, a 30 day trial period will begin. The city will issue warnings rather than citations during the testing period.
The installation is expected to take several weeks.
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