Albany PD releases numbers related to red light cameras

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Albany Police Department released numbers on Tuesday about red light cameras in the city.

In the last three months of 2015, the red light cameras caught almost 3,000 violations, which resulted in 2,600 citations.

Police Chief Brendan Cox said it’s not just about punishing drivers. He said he wants safer roads, and he’s hopeful the red light cameras will help do that.

“We looked at all of the 20 intersections and how many accidents there were,” Cox explained. “And not just how many accidents there were, but what was the causation of the accident? What was the situation around it, and what were the contributing factors?”

RELATED: 2015 Traffic Safety Statistics and Red Light Camera Reports

Cox said there were a total of 39 accidents in three months. He said two of the biggest problems are T-bone crashes, and people slamming on breaks to avoid a ticket.

In addition to crashes, the 34 cameras caught 2,871 red light violations in the last three months of 2015.

In October 2015, drivers paid 501 citations, which resulted in more than $27,000.

In November 2015, 448 paid citations, which generated $24,000.

In December 2015, 955 citations were paid making almost $49,000.

In total, the city received $98,530 in the last three months of 2015.

The cameras at the intersection of Watervliet Avenue Extension and Everett Road recorded the most.

RELATED: October 2015 red light camera report

RELATED: November 2015 red light camera report

RELATEDDecember 2015 red light camera report

Some hope the cameras will have drivers thinking twice about running the red light.

“Happen chance that they are intoxicated, but their mind flicks and thinks, ‘Oh, I can’t run through this red light,’ and they stop,” Ollie Jackson, of Albany, said. “It may save some lives.”

In 2015, before all the cameras were installed, the city brought in more than $115,000 in fines. In her most recent budget proposal, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan budgeted nearly $2 million in revenue from the cameras.

“It’s going to hit you in the pockets, and you’re going to learn your lesson, but it’s still not going to make it safer,” Gary Ferrand, of Albany, said. “Maybe eventually but when people speed, they speed.”

The police department is reviewing and releasing the data to keep drivers informed about potentially dangerous intersections. Cox said they are making changes to the camera system so drivers have more time to decide if they are going to stop or keep going.

RELATED: 2014-2015 Traffic Safety Statistics

“One of the things we’ve done to try and avoid that was switching everything to a four-second timing on the yellow lights to try and stop that from happening,” he said. “Plus, we advertised our systems pretty broadly.”

Cox said that the technology is only part of the road safety plan. He’s asking everyone to be more careful behind the wheel.

“Slow down, do the speed limit, keep that safe distance, put their cell phone down, stop texting, put their seatbelt on, and just do your part,” he said. “Go back to when you learned how to drive.”

The department plans on giving traffic safety updates around the 15th of each month.

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