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Red-light cameras record wrecks, near misses

Posted August 5, 2010
Updated August 6, 2010

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— Red-light cameras on U.S. Highway 64 (Knightdale Blvd.) through Knightdale not only get images of vehicles that run the light, they also have recorded an array of wrecks and near misses.

A white school activity bus skids and swerves on the rain-slicked road to avoid hitting a car and then eases through an intersection. A tractor-trailer slams into a car, spinning it around before the back end of the truck hits it again. A car careens across the median and into the oncoming lanes to avoid a collision.

"That is more or less a daily occurrence at the intersections," said Shawn Brown, Knightdale's public safety director and police chief. "People are using their cell phones, or they're distracted in some way and don't see the light."

Knightdale has six intersections equipped with red-light cameras, and one of those recently got a second set. Brown said the cameras give officers extra eyes on the intersections.

Drivers who avoid a wreck still get a $50 ticket in the mail for running a red light. The amount of fines Knightdale has collected from people not stopping for red lights has tripled in the past year, from $9,000 to $27,000.

Red light camera in Knightdale Red-light cameras racking up citations in Knightdale

The Wake County school district gets half of the proceeds from the fines, and the rest of the money is used to fund the camera system.

Brown attributes the increase to the town's growing population, and the new shops and restaurants that have increased traffic volume along U.S. 64. He said the cameras help keep drivers alert to traffic lights.

"Traditionally in Knightdale, we've seen less accidents at the intersections where we do have the red-light cameras," he said.


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  • flyingcheetah92 Aug 6, 2010

    Plan around these things and most peoples problems here would be solved instead of leaving 15 min before you have to be somewhere thats 15 min away try leaving 20-25 min. then you have time to spare when the light turns red or someone in front of you does not go as fast as you would. I always try to do this and most times get places early but thats alright because nobody gets angry when you show up 5 min early!

  • soyousay Aug 6, 2010

    It isn't people from the north. Have you ever been in SC? The state could balance their state budget in one day with a few well placed red light cameras. At least they do it in slow motion

  • debnamdavis Aug 6, 2010

    I hate that intersection...ive seen an accident of being in the middle lane tryint to turn waiting on oncoming cars...the light turns yellow so the car trying to avoid the camera to be ticketed made a quick turn and end up getting hit. I was wondering was it really that they felt like they had to turn because they were already in the middle of all lanes & the light was going to catch them...or they just messed up. Either way people please be careful...accidents are accidents and can cost precious life...be safe!!

  • oleguy Aug 6, 2010

    Its a red RED light, means STOP,,,

    I vote we remove all lights and stop signs.

    It ever man or woman for them selves... Sounds kinda dangerous HUH,,, Stop at the lights, its safer and moves traffic. I travel North quite a bit,,, Yankees dont drive wild up North, really,,,The courts dont take no bs, like down here...

    NY for example, no cell phones, automatic ticket,, Best not talk on a phone while re fueling or light a Cig. within 100 foot of a gas pump.
    Thats why Yankees drive so crazy down here.
    We could go to 4 way stops everywhere, works great in the North west, lots cheeper than traffic lights

  • Lickad Aug 6, 2010

    I would attribute it to more yankee drivers in the area. They drive poorly... but at least they usually use their turn signals, unlike confederates.

  • iamsiam1096 Aug 6, 2010

    hpr641 wrote "red light cameras is that drivers are forced to keep their eyes fixed on the light, instead of occaisionally scanning the intersection for scooters, bicyclists, or ... PEDESTRIANS."

    Sorry that some do not know how to multi task, I don't have to stare at a light just because a camera is there. Do like any other intersection drive safely, don't tailgate, don't speed, be aware of who and what is around you. If it turns yellow don't gun it. Most drivers do this every day..check your mirrors, watch vehicles ahead of you. Maybe if this is too hard some should not drive but it is common sense folks. Red light cameras are simply a tool, they don't CAUSE anything. They are just there, no different than an officer parked there watching, except the camera records events.
    Grow up people and drive a little safer, stop being in such a hurry.

  • shortcake53 Aug 6, 2010

    Who cares what they are looking at in the videos? As long as your going along your merry way doing the right things, what does it matter if your seen?

  • 2kids Aug 6, 2010

    Can anyone say money, money, money and what else are they looking at with these videos?

  • hpr641 Aug 6, 2010

    Cheif Brown: "People are using their cell phones, or they're distracted in some way and don't see the light."

    Cheif, people who aren't distracted in ANY way often can't see the light because you have ZERO spacing between the only 2 lights at your red light camera intersections. If there's a decent sized truck in front of you, you've got to trail by at least a football-field to stop in time. And, another problem with your red light cameras is that drivers are forced to keep their eyes fixed on the light, instead of occaisionally scanning the intersection for scooters, bicyclists, or ... PEDESTRIANS. But hey, congrats on the $13.5K you brought in for the school system ... maybe that'll be enough to buy some new civics and government books at KHS.

    Sorry, but a red light camera is simply a very cheap alternative to a properly designed and controlled intersection.

  • NCSU2004 Aug 6, 2010

    How do you figure that the cameras are for revenue when none of the money is going to the city that has them installed? I have seem many, many people blow red lights that I have been stopped at for several seconds. Also define "slow driver" I drive the speed limit, not 5, 10, 15, or 20 over and I am quite often the slowest vehicle on the road, or so it seems.
    Rolling Along

    Umm, who do you think gets the money when you pay the ticket? I'd like it better if all of the money WAS going to the city, at least it would benefit the city instead of a private company who probably produce the things in China!