Opelika Road Safety Program to Begin
March 27, 2013
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!
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
Frederick Road @ US 280/Gateway Drive
US 280/Gateway Drive @ HWY
US 280/Gateway Drive @ I-85
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!