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News Next Door: Red Light Cameras Coming To Norristown

Council voted to approve an ordinance Monday night authorizing the use of "automated red light enforcement systems."

Norristown Council gave the green light for use of automated red light enforcement systems, or red light cameras, at a Jan. 7 meeting, Norristown Patch reports.

The state legislature passed a bill in June giving certain Montgomery County municipalities the option to adopt the practice and council discussed the issue at a Dec. 18 meeting where it decided to move forward with the project on the recommendation of the Public Safety Committee and the Norristown Police Department.

Read the full story on Norristown Patch.

Lower Merion Township's Board of Commissioners also discussed red light cameras this fall, with several commissioners voicing support for the potential program.

Likely 12 to 15 intersections would have cameras installed if Lower Merion's red light camera program went forward. Intersections are selected, with PennDOT’s approval, according to the rate of accidents there, not the volume of traffic, Police Superintendent Michael McGrath told commissioners.

No detailed proposals for a red light program in Lower Merion have been presented.

Jim January 09, 2013 at 07:56 PM
The crash videos the Industry publicizes show that the real dangerous runs that lead to crashes are almost entirely when the light has been red 5 seconds or more. These really late runs happen because the intersection (and the signal) isn't prominent enough - the motorist (a lost/distracted visitor, or a drunk/impaired/distracted local) may miss seeing the signal entirely, or he may think it's not a major intersection. Cameras won't stop them, because the visitor doesn't know the camera is there, and the local doesn't remember it's there. Here's how to make an intersection (and signal) more prominent. Cheaply and quickly. A. Paint "signal ahead" on the pavement. A study sponsored by Florida's DOT found that doing so could cut running by up to 74%. B. Make the signal lights bigger in diameter or, add another signal head. A study by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that doing either one could cut crashes by 47%. C. Add backboards to the signal heads, or enlarge those you have. The TTI study found that doing so could cut crashes by 32%. D. For nighttime driving, install brighter bulbs in the street lights and put up lighted name signs for the cross street. These things should be tried at a city's worst intersections, and the results published, before there is any consideration of putting in red light cameras.
Linux Guy April 23, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Please note that with proper engineering, there is no need for red-light cameras. If you set an 85th percentile free-flowing speed limit, extend the yellow duration, have a decent-length all-red interval, and use sensors to keep an all-red, the problems go away. Also, note that the National Motorists Association has a ticket challenge. If a municipality works with the NMA and the problems fail to cease, the municipality will be awarded $10,000 for improvements. Why is none of this being mentioned or investigated? It seems like for some reason it was decided these cameras would go in no matter what. Why?

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