Modesto has installed a camera at a busy intersection near the Vintage Faire Mall. At least nine more cameras are going to be placed at other intersections throughout the city. The cameras take a photograph of red light violators who are then sent a citation for 340 dollars. Modesto police Lieutenant Dan Inderbitzen says the goal is to reduce accidents, not generate revenue
"Other cities that have the cameras have shown reductions of side-impact collisions at intersections, so we’re hoping to see the same thing in Modesto."
Detractors say while cameras reduce side-impact accidents, they increase rear-end collisions. Eric Skrum of the National Motorists Association says cameras are often a band-aid for poorly designed intersections or traffic signals that aren’t timed properly.
"You take a look at the problem intersection that is having a high number of accidents and you can usually track it down to an engineering flaw that should be addressed."
The city claims the six thousand dollar monthly cost to operate the cameras at each intersection will be completely covered by revenue from citations.