Opelika Road Safety Program to Begin


March 27, 2013


I bet you’ve heard – or even used! – the little rhyme created for children:  “Red means ‘stop’; green means ‘go’; yellow means ‘wait’ – even if you’re late!”  It makes for an easy way to start teaching children safety rules for the roadways; for even though they “don’t drive” yet, they are bound to be pedestrians who need to know the rules of the road, so that they can be safe!

 

And speaking of safety, those driving through some of Opelika’s busiest intersections can expect to see safer roads following the announcement the city’s Red-light Safety Cameras will begin snapping pictures of motorists that disregard the traffic safety signal.  Beginning on MONDAY, APRIL 1st, Red-light Safety Cameras will be turned on, capturing still images and video of red-light running violations.  During the month of April (the 30-day warning period), a “courtesy warning notice” will be issued to the vehicle’s registered owner, but there will be no fines issued during this “grace period” for violations.  Upon completion of the warning period, violations with a fine of $60 will be issued to motorists who ignore the traffic signals.

 

Red-Light Safety Cameras will be located at the following intersections:

·        Frederick Road @ US 280/Gateway Drive

·        US 280/Gateway Drive @ HWY 15/Pepperell Parkway

·        US 280/Gateway Drive @ I-85 Off-ramp/Interstate Drive

·        HWY 15/West Point Parkway @ US 431/Fox Run Parkway/Lafayette Parkway

These locations were selected after a comprehensive evaluation took place to determine where red-light running most commonly occurs and where red-light safety cameras are most likely to improve road safety. The red-light safety camera program aims to protect drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians from injuries or crashes caused by red-light runners. (This evaluation included actual traffic flow patterns through intersections and stats on traffics accidents, injuries and fatalities occurring at these intersections.) 

            “These days, too many drivers choose to ignore traffic signals and think running a red light is acceptable. We want to change this aggressive driving behavior by using technology. Red has always meant stop,” said Mayor Gary Fuller.

In addition to saving lives by preventing collisions and promoting safer driving habits, red-light cameras also yield a significant cost savings to motorists and the community. There are fewer property damage claims, lower insurance premiums, reduced medical expenses and increased mobility for those communing through once dangerous intersections.  One red-light safety camera saves Opelika and its residents an average of $89,763 a year. Similar economic benefits can be found in other communities with red-light safety cameras, but the most important benefit in every case remains the lives that are saved.

Across the nation, more than 700 cities use road safety programs as a traffic safety tool. Intersection safety cameras have proven effective in reducing the incidence of red-light running in major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Seattle.   The City of Opelika’s goal is to join those other cities in reducing avoidable traffic accidents and fatalities!