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Talks to begin with Redflex for red-light camera system
FBMA unanimously authorizes contract talks

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen authorized a contract negotiation team to begin talks with the top red-light camera vendor, Redflex.

The team charged with bidding for, interviewing and selecting an automated enforcement vendor, Associate Town Administrator Gary Palmer, Capt. Ben Harkins with Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Darryl Smith, Town engineer and James Everett, assistant Town engineer, unanimously selected Redflex from the four vendors.

“We are at the end of a very long process,” Palmer said.

“We went through all the rankings and deliberated a little while. It was very clear in who we unanimously selected.”

“Our unanimous recommendation to the Board is to choose Redflex as the vendor,” Palmer said.

The selection team evaluated each vendor based on each company’s history, project approach, and references, worth 25, 50 and 25 points apiece, respectively.

Redflex received a perfect score of 100 points.

Evaluations included everything from examining the financial records of each company, types of technology offered, customer service support, and feedback from five governmental entities that each company had to provide.

Nestor was the second highest-rated vendor, followed by American Traffic Solutions, who did not make a presentation to the Board, and Traffipax at a very distant fourth.

According to Redflex regional director Cherif Elsadek, who presented to the Board July 10, Redflex is the largest provider in the United States, with 22 years experience and traffic systems in Knoxville, Oak Ridge and Kingsport.

The system uses three digital high-resolution cameras and a video camera mounted in a roadside box.

The cameras take several shots. If the system detects a motorist approaching the intersection at a speed at which he is unlikely to stop, a camera takes a rear shot of the motorist. If the motorist continues through the intersection, the cameras take a picture of the license plate and a photograph of the red light violation, as well as a 12-second video.

Elsadek presented information from KCSO that cited safety statistics at intersections in Knoxville.

These statistics showed a 93 percent issuance rate in the City and a 100 percent decrease in traffic deaths at monitored intersections. At monitored intersections, there was a 16 percent decrease in rear end collisions and a 42 percent decrease in right angle collisions.

In addition, since the red light cameras were installed, KCSO reports a 40 percent decrease at non-monitored intersections.

Elsadek said the Town could choose between in-ground loops, flush-mounted sensors, laser, radar or virtual video triggers. He added that in-ground sensors are the most accurate type of triggering devices, with the fewest false triggers.

“Redflex offered every form of technology and it was at our discretion what kind we wanted to use,” Palmer reminded the Board Aug. 14.

Town will likely request the in-ground sensors.

“I think we’re in agreement that it would be those pads that are actually bored into the concrete. It wouldn’t be cutting in; they would just be boring a hole, placing a sensor and then putting the bore back on top … its not very invasive at all,” Palmer added.

Redflex will allow violators to view the ticket, photographs and video on-line and would provide a kiosk at Town Hall for those residents without Internet access.

In addition, each camera is given an IP address that allows police officers to monitor the camera footage in real time.

Because Redflex has a full service center in Knoxville, Elsadek promised an at-most 24-hour turnaround in a “hard down” situation and remote assistance for most technical problems.

“Clearly, to us, customer service was a big deal in this whole endeavor, and Redflex just offered better customer service. They’re more available; they’re local,” Palmer said.

“Regardless of what happens in the City of Knoxville, they have said they will keep that office opened up in Knoxville,” he added.

The Board authorized a team to begin negotiating with Redflex: Town Attorney Tom Hale, Smith or his designee, Harkins and Dan Olson, Town administrator, or his designee.

In the event a satisfactory agreement with Redflex could not be reached, negotiations would be held with Nestor.

Red light cameras will be placed at the Campbell Station Road at Kingston Pike, Smith Road at Kingston Pike, Campbell Station at Grigsby Chapel/

Parkside Drive and Kingston Pike at Concord Road intersections.


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