PASCO, Wash. - The Pasco Police Department has another set of eyes, and they're watching you from above.
Red light cameras are up and running at two intersections in Pasco. Two are placed at the south and west end of Court Street and 20th Avenue. The other two face north and south at Road 68 and Burden Boulevard. Police have been working on this project for nearly two years.
"Out of these two intersections, what we found is about 150 violations in a 12-hour period," said Capt. Jeff Harpster with Pasco Police. "The placement of these cameras was directly correlated to the high incidents of people running red lights."
The department teamed up with Redflex, a traffic enforcement company who provides the cameras.
If you run a red light, the radar camera inside will take a picture and videotape the violation. The information is sent back to Redflex. If they believe the driver ran a red light, it's sent to the Pasco Police Department. The officers have the discretion to either dismiss the violation or confirm that the driver did run the light.
The information is sent back to Redflex who will send you a ticket in the mail for $125.
"If it saves one person from being hit or losing their vehicle because of the damage that's done or save someone's life for that matter, I mean it's a great thing," said local driver, Alicia Willey.
Another driver had a similar perspective.
"You can't have an officer sitting there at every red light to check, so I'm thinking it would help in that aspect," said John Marquez. "If you're not running a red light then you don't have anything to worry about."
The cameras can also detect if you run the red light on a right-hand turn.
"It's not going to be, 'oh, I just tapped my brakes,'" Harpster said. "It's definitely a blatant violation that no, they were not going to stop."
Police will run a 30-day trial period in order for the city to become familiar with the cameras. If you run a light during this time, you'll receive a warning in the mail. After the 30 days, you'll be mailed a ticket. It's a civil infraction, meaning it doesn't go against your driving record.
You can review the photo and video of the violation once you receive the ticket.
"You can either pay it online or dispute it and take it to the courts to have it reviewed by a judge," Harpster said.
"I think they're going to give people pause about doing things that are illegal that could be dangerous," Willey said. "It's protecting people from those that think it's okay to run red lights."
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