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Redflex gets ‘green’ light

“Three of us here are new, but I think we’ve jerked you around enough,” Mayor Ralph McGill told Redflex representative Craig Primiani at the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Thursday, May 14.

“We’ve been working on this endeavor probably about two years,” Interim Town Administrator Gary Palmer said of the process of finding an automated enforcement “red light” camera vendor.

“We’re down to the end of it, where we feel like we should go forward or maybe that we should not go forward,” Primiani said, reflecting on his third trip to Farragut from Boston, Mass.

After previous Boards pushed off approval of the Redflex contract, McGill and the Board of Alderman unanimously approved the contract Thursday night, subject to Primiani scheduling a follow-up traffic study.

According to Palmer, all of the former Board’s concerns had been met, including various indemnification and legal issues. The only “sticky point” was the number of approaches: the previous Board wanted all four approaches at each intersection monitored; Redflex would install only two cameras at each intersection.

“What I think we should do is watch the behavior, let the system work and see what happens … to some of the violations,” Primiani said.

“Time will have an effect on people’s driving behavior,” he added. Primiani said Redflex would study the unmonitored approaches about a year after the cameras “go live.”

“Historically, at all four approaches, we see the same reduction [between monitored and unmonitored],” Primiani said.

“We’ve never put one in and had accidents go up,” he added, but said reductions in violations could vary from as little as 10 percent to as much as 60 percent. Regardless of the reduction, two cameras normally affected driving behavior so much that a third and fourth camera are not needed.

Alderman John Williams moved to approve the contract, a motion Alderman Jeff Elliott seconded and the Board unanimously approved 5-0.

According to the contract, the cameras will be placed on two yet-to-be-determined approaches at each intersection within 60 days of the notice to proceed.

Monitored intersections will be Campbell Station Road and Kingston Pike, Campbell Station and Parkside Drive, Kingston Pike and Smith Road and Kingston Pike and Concord Road.

Redflex also will provide the Town with $4,000 to place a kiosk in Town Hall to allow residents easy access to data about their violations and tickets.

Elliott asked how the cost of and revenue generated by the redlight cameras would affect the Town’s budget.

“A lot of people think this is a moneymaker. It’s really not,” Primiani said.

“In all likelihood, the Town’s revenue will never exceed more than $11.50 per violation,”

Town Attorney Tom Hale said. The $11.50 (out of a $50 ticket) is the amount the Town would receive if there were 1-to-100 violations per approach per month.

“This is a safety issue, not a money-making issue … it may end up costing us money,” Hale said.


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