Device alerts drivers to red-light cameras

Posted May 21, 2009 5:30 p.m. EDT
Updated May 25, 2009 9:56 p.m. EDT

More intersections in Raleigh will be monitored by cameras in the coming months.

— A new device alerts drivers to red-light cameras.

The $250 device made by Cobra Electronics is illegal in Virginia, Washington D.C. and on military bases.

It alerts drivers a few hundred feet before they get to an intersection with a red-light camera.

Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said she doesn't mind the devices, especially if they encourage people to stop.

“If the device tells you there’s a red-light camera and it causes people to stop at those intersections, we’re very pleased,” Bazemore said.

The cameras have made intersections safer, officials said. At Kildaire Farm and Maynard Road, the accident rate is down 40 percent since the town installed a red-light camera.

That’s the same intersection where Jennifer Faircloth made the decision five months ago to make an illegal left turn still sitting at a red-light. Tired of waiting, she ran the red-light.

“My thinking at the time was, everybody else around here gets away with this all the time, so why not me?” Faircloth said.

A red-light camera caught her and about a month later she received a $50 citation.

Faircloth didn’t see the sign denoting the camera at the intersection and said she is glad she got the ticket.

“It really has forced me to change my behavior in a positive way,” Faircloth said.

A look at red-light camera locations in Raleigh and Cary

Faircloth thinks the red-light camera detector may do more harm than good.

“I would be concerned if I had something like that in my car that it would just encourage me to drive aggressively,” Faircloth said. “I don’t think that’s such a great idea.”

Many GPS units also include red-light camera alerts.