Council says no to red-light cameras

After months of research, Glendale City Council has decided against returning to the use of red-light cameras within the city limits.
The council heard statistics and information from Police Chief Rick St. John and Assistant Chief Chris Briggs, then decided against the installation of the red-light cameras.
Among the reasons against the planned project, councilmembers pointed to an increase in accidents at intersections with cameras and cost to run and monitor the cameras. A new Arizona law, which takes effect in August, forces cities to monitor the cameras and private companies can no longer issue the tickets.
The Police Department conducted numerous studies, including temporarily installing cameras at locations throughout the city to review the number of red-light infractions at intersections. The Police Department also studied increased enforcement zones and the reinstatement of the “It’s Our Town, Please Slow Down” campaign.
From 2014 to 2016, Glendale saw a 72-percent increase in the amount of fatal collisions in the city, and in an effort to lower those numbers, the Glendale Police Department is working with other city departments to reduce traffic collisions.
The Glendale Police Department kicked off the year-long effort June 1, 2017, to create safer roadways and protect lives with the campaign.
“Since this program began, vehicle fatalities are down 82 percent since implementation of the ‘It’s Our Town, Please Slow Down’ began,” St. John said. “I believe it is working in the city.”
Councilmembers were quick to point to the success of the Police Department.
“I appreciate the efforts of the police to make a difference in the city, Councilmember Joyce Clark said. “But Glendale is no different than other cities in the Valley, and everyone needs to watch how they drive. When we have numbers of incidents here, let’s see what intersections in Phoenix compare to that. I am not convinced these cameras would work and the cost is not worth the results.”
St. John pointed out that 13 Arizona cities had red light cameras at one point, but currently only five are still using them.
“Eight other cities had them and removed them for some reason,” Clark said. “That tells me they do not work and I would rather see officers beef up the ‘It’s Our Town, Please Slow Down’ campaign.”
The Police Department implemented several strict enforcement zones. The areas have been at major intersections that led the city in traffic collisions. Those areas have been publicized and broadcast through social media ahead of time.
The department wants the public to know where those areas are and change their driving behavior. 
Council did not give consensus to continue researching the program and directed staff to research other possible traffic solutions.

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