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Cary puts the brakes on red light camera program

Posted August 9, 2012
Updated August 10, 2012

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— After receiving hundreds of complaints from drivers who had been improperly ticketed, the Cary Town Council on Thursday voted to get rid of 17 red light cameras that monitor 15 intersections.

In a news release, Cary town officials said the cameras will continue to issue citations until the town can terminate its contract with Redflex, the outside contractor that monitors the cameras and issues $50 citations for violations. Officials said they expect the contract to be terminated within the next two weeks.

The unanimous vote comes a week after Cary Town Manager Benjamin Shivar suggested scrapping the program. 

Shivar cited a WRAL News report that found that drivers were being improperly ticketed on left turns, as well as a lawsuit over the cameras, administrative costs and uncertainty about the state legislation authorizing the program. 

In addition, the town said traffic engineers have achieved the program's goal of making safety improvements to certain intersections. 

No driver's license or insurance points were assessed, and proceeds went to the county school system. 

According to the town, the 8-year-old program has sent $646,366 to the Wake County Public School System, which is approximately 10 percent of the total fines. The town has kept about 2 percent of the fines to pay direct administrative costs, including one part-time employee.

The town has cameras at these intersections:

  • Cary Towne Boulevard at Convention Drive (EB)
  • Kildaire Farm Road at High Meadow Drive (SB)
  • High House Road at Prestonwood Drive (WB)
  • Northwest Maynard Road and Chapel Hill Road (NB)
  • Maynard Road at Walnut Street (SB)
  • Tryon Road at Crescent Green Way (EB)
  • Tryon Road at Regency Parkway (WB)
  • Walnut Street and Dillard Drive (NB)
  • Maynard Road and Kildaire Farm Road (WB)
  • Kildaire Farm Road and Maynard Road (SB)
  • Cary Parkway at Kildaire Farm Road (WB)
  • Kildaire Farm Road and Cary Parkway (NB)
  • Cary Parkway at High House Road (SB)
  • Harrison Avenue at Maynard Road (SB)
  • Harrison Avenue and Weston Parkway (SB)
  • Walnut Street at Meeting Street (WB)
  • Cary Parkway and High Meadow (WB)
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  • westernwake1 Aug 10, 2012

    "The court costs, which help pay for police retirement and court facilities, along with attorney fees, and increased insurance rates from all these tickets is staggering." - NCJoe

    Actually these private company camera red light camera do not collect court costs, nor due they impact insurance, nor can you use an attorney (you do not go to court). You are billed directly for your ticket via US Mail and disputing the fine is a long, difficult, and nearly impossible process. The reality is that you are not recieiving due process as required by the US Constitution because you can not face your accuser in court.

  • westernwake1 Aug 10, 2012

    This might be a good time to point out that traffic accidents went UP at most of these intersections since these cameras were installed.... especially rear end collisions. The town tried to dispute this at one time... but stopped asserting otherwise after the actual facts were presented in court documents.

  • ICTrue Aug 10, 2012

    "No hypocrisy, just typical 21st century Republican thinking. Today's Republicans will happy swallow the party's traditional principle of smaller gov't whenever doing so jibes with their desire to actually control people's lives and morality."
    Road-wearier

    Your obviously just trying to stir things up.

  • NCJoe Aug 10, 2012

    By my calculations, it looks like there are about 16,000 tickets issued annually by these cameras - maxweinberg8

    The court costs, which help pay for police retirement and court facilities, along with attorney fees, and increased insurance rates from all these tickets is staggering.

  • Road-wearier Aug 10, 2012

    "Red light cameras where never EVER about safety. If they were, the city or state would be managing them, not a for-profit company."

    You know, even if it WAS about safety the city/state wouldn't be able to run the program. Why? Because the teabillies would start raising a huge stink about big government...but somehow it's OK when the gov't farms it out to a private company who makes a ton of cash on it.

  • Road-wearier Aug 10, 2012

    "Ah the hypocrisy. So you are a proud republican yet all for government increasing their ability to spy... I mean monitor... their citizenry?"

    No hypocrisy, just typical 21st century Republican thinking. Today's Republicans will happy swallow the party's traditional principle of smaller gov't whenever doing so jibes with their desire to actually control people's lives and morality.

  • ICTrue Aug 10, 2012

    "Sadly, this could be said as well for most towns. How about spending energy on protecting the rights of your citizens and not entrapping them with money making schemes." bdaughtry2

    They have to come up with ways to generate revenue to pay for their bloated police forces.

    "what a genius! The reason that Cary has almost "zero crime" is the fact that you have an officer on every street corner. Take the officers away, let a couple of neighborhoods go "low rent" and SAS will be looking for another home." Relic

    The low crime rate in Cary has nothing to do with the police..With your "low rent" comment, I syspect that you get it but are to PC to say it.

  • JustAName Aug 10, 2012

    "No they didn't...and I have just as much proof to back as my claim as you do." - smbiz

    I haven't seen a wreck there since they put it up. I drive through that intersection almost every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. There used to be a wreck or near wreck from someone running the light on a regular basis at that intersection. That would be my proof. What's yours?

  • Relic Aug 10, 2012

    "It's bad enough that we pay a fortune to have a cop on every street corner when there is nearly zero crime." Wow...what a genius! The reason that Cary has almost "zero crime" is the fact that you have an officer on every street corner. Take the officers away, let a couple of neighborhoods go "low rent" and SAS will be looking for another home.

    Now, the cameras. I have never liked them because they violate the basic right of an accused in either criminal or civil court to face their accuser. A machine showing a variety of different photo angles is not an "accuser". Sending someone a photo of a license tag and a red light is not due process. A computer should never be allowed to be the "testimony" in court. The so-called "reviewers" they had were not at the intersection so they did not actually see the violation. Good riddance to bad law.

  • bdaughtry2 Aug 10, 2012

    > It's about time that these jokers made a correct decision. Stop harassing the citizens of Cary and anyone else that happens to pass through this town.

    Sadly, this could be said as well for most towns. How about spending energy on protecting the rights of your citizens and not entrapping them with money making schemes.

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