May 9, 2013
The red light cameras at the intersection of Rio Road and Route 29 in Albemarle County appear to be encouraging drivers to follow the law.
Albemarle County Police say the number of tickets given out by the cameras is down 27 percent, year-to-date, compared to 2012.
The cameras were placed at the intersection in December 2010. And people are running through the red lights less often.
"We were hoping that the cameras would sort of change driver behavior and people would know the cameras are there," said Carter Johnson, with Albemarle County Police.
Tammy Springer runs through the intersection a couple times a week. She has noticed fewer cars getting in her way.
"We see some of that a little bit," Springer said. "But not nearly as much as it used to be."
An average of twelve drivers a day still get caught running a red light at the intersection. Recently, Travis Woodward was one of them.
"I thought it was yellow at the time but it must not have been," said Woodward. "These lights up here change quick."
Woodward paid the ticket and learned his lesson. He drives through the intersection several times a week and says there are fewer emergencies, with the cameras.
"I like them there now because there ain't as many wrecks," said Woodward.
The money from the tickets goes toward traffic safety programs, but first the county must pay a fee to the company that installed the cameras. Police say, even with fewer tickets going out, the county is still well above the threshold, so the cameras are generating money, and preventing crashes.
"Our ultimate goal is to keep the roads safer in Albemarle County," said Johnson. "And to have drivers stopping when they should be stopping."
The county is planning to expand the program. They want to put cameras at the intersection of Route 250 and Stony Point Road on Pantops.
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