Rocky Mount Sees Benefits Of New Traffic Cameras
Posted May 27, 2003 4:57 a.m. EDT
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — With a population of only 56,000, Rocky Mount is the smallest town in the state to install red-light cameras. So far, officials have installed five cameras and the number of crashes at the intersections is down 30 percent, which officials claim is better than expected.
"We're cautiously optimistic. We're just looking at six months worth of data before and after the cameras were installed, but it is encouraging to see a reduction in the total number of accidents over that time period," traffic engineer Jonathan Boone said.
The penalty is enough to get some attention. Even on the first offense, it costs the driver $50. If the violator does not pay the fine in four weeks, another $50 is tacked on.
Rocky Mount pays back most of the money to the privately owned camera company, but the city keeps $11 for each ticket.
"That revenue, which we project in this coming fiscal year to be $100,000 is to be used for traffic safety improvements," Assistant City Manager Peter Varney said.
Officials say the money will pay for new signs, street improvements and possibly more cameras. In addition, they say fewer people are getting hurt.
Charlotte already has red-light cameras in place. The Raleigh transportation department is working on a proposal now that would bring them to the capital city.