More "red light" cameras rolling

January 7, 2009 3:52:44 PM PST
Drivers at three more intersections in Philadelphia will need to keep that impatience in check, or pay the price.Cameras are there, watching for red light runners.

At 58th and Walnut a motorist runs the red light as a pedestrian steps into the street. It's such a frequent occurrence, the parking authority says Philadelphia 13th red light camera program has been installed here and began full operations today.

The entire Walnut Street corridor has been classified as a high accident area, with the spotlight at 58th.

"This has been a dangerous corner, we have a school on one corner and across the street a senior center, so we're concerned about it," said Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.

The red light cameras were also installed at Broad and Hunting Park, and 9th and the Boulevard.

The Parking Authority considers the red light camera program a booming success, cutting accident rates by at least 40% everywhere they've been installed.

That includes the treacherous Roosevelt Blvd., which has been the primary focus area.

"We have a major reduction in accidents. Fatalities along the boulevard are almost nill because of red light accidents," said Parking Authority Executive Driector Vincent Fennerty.

West Philadelphians are glad to see the program expanded to their neighborhood.

"The kids are coming out of school there, and these cars are always speeding up the street. I see them running the red lights constantly," said Lorenzo Hainesworth.

The parking authority has issued more than 120,000 red light camera tickets so far, followed by aggressive collection tactics including booting.

The authority says their successful collection rate from the red light program is at 75%.

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