After analyzing factors like collision data, traffic volume and speeding, the city has chosen four intersections for red-light cameras:
• Northbound Academy Boulevard at Carefree Circle
• Eastbound Platte Avenue at Chelton Road
• Westbound Briargate Boulevard at Lexington Drive
• Southbound Academy Boulevard at Dublin Boulevard
Violators caught by cameras will be fined $75, not including court costs.
It's not the first time Colorado Springs has taken a swing at red-light cameras. The first, short-lived attempt
began in 2010 before Steve Bach's tenure as mayor. Cameras were placed at four intersections (completely different from the newly selected ones) for about a year. But the project got the red light
in October 2011, just over a year later, when the city found it was "not meeting safety expectations" and Bach called for an end to the unpopular program.
"According to data supplied by program partner, American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS), while there was an overall modest (30 percent) reduction in red-light running violations through September, results varied widely," reads a 2011 release from the city announcing the shutdown.
"For example, the program had a 22 percent increase in violations at the north-bound approach on Nevada Avenue at Bijou Street. In addition, preliminary information from the City’s Traffic Engineering and Police Departments showed the program had no impact on dangerous front-to-side collisions at program intersections."
Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Pete Carey supported shutting down the program in 2011. “A review of the data after one year shows conflicting information at best," he's quoted in the city's release. "We discussed the program with Mayor Bach and determined citizens would be best served if we reassigned personnel to other priority functions.”
However, Carey last fall argued for reinstating red-light enforcement
, saying cameras were necessary because of an officer shortage and a rising number of traffic accidents and fatalities.
This year is set to break traffic fatality records in Colorado Springs. Last year, there were a total of 39 accident-related deaths, the most ever. This year, there have already been 32 (compared with only 22 at this time in 2017).
“If [installing cameras] saves lives and prevents hospital visits, I think we should do it," Carey said at a public forum last year.
But whether they do is still an if.
Studies have shown mixed results as to whether red-light cameras actually make people safer. Some show that installing cameras results in fewer T-bone crashes, but more rear-ends.
There's also the "training effect" on drivers.
quotes Mayor John Suthers as saying the cameras will help, because people "forget exactly which intersection it is, so it has the effect of making people a lot more careful within a radius.”