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Redflex cameras: all or none, Town says

After more than a year of searching for, selecting and negotiating a contract with an automated traffic enforcement vendor, Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted 4-1 to table the process at its meeting, Thursday, March 12.

Interim Town Administrator Gary Palmer presented the Board with a copy of the Town’s contract with Redflex.

“We went through this contract very extensively at our last meeting,” Mayor Eddy Ford said.

According to Redflex spokes-man Craig Primiani, one of the only changes the Board requested that Redflex could not accept was the number of monitored approaches at each intersection.

The Board requested cameras be placed at all four approaches at three of its intersections, Campbell Station Road and Kingston Pike, Concord Road and Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road and Parkside Drive; and two approaches at Kingston Pike and Smith Road.

“We have never put cameras at all four approaches … anywhere,” Primiani said.

“Once the system goes in, citations go down.

“We’re in the business of putting ourselves out of business,” Primiani said, adding cameras at all four approaches were “overkill.”

“Isn’t that our decision?” Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes asked.

“We are paying for a total system and a total number of cameras … the safety factor is worth doing it,” he added.

Primiani said one or two cameras had the same affect as four.

“It’s a halo effect,” he said. Signs were placed at all four approaches, and most drivers drove more carefully whether the approach they were on was monitored or not.

The Board held an informal vote to decide whether it wanted to proceed with the 4-4-4-2 number of monitored approaches, which passed, with Aldermen John Williams and Dot LaMarche dissenting.

“I don’t think we’ll go with that,” Primiani told the Board.

“It’s unusual for a company to oppose a potential customer,” Ford said.

Alderman Tom Rosseel suggested a compromise: starting with two cameras at each intersection and doing a traffic study down the road to determine if other cameras were needed.

Ford moved to table the contract until the Board’s next meeting to allow Redflex time to “consider.” Only LaMarche dissented.


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