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CSR red-light cameras startup nears


Ben Harkins, Farragut’s Photo Enforcement manager, wants to send out a reminder to Farragut motorists: the intersection at Campbell Station Road and Grigsby Chapel Road will be getting a red-light camera.

The cameras will be installed in the coming month on two approaches, Campbell Station southbound and Campbell Station northbound.

“I’m waiting to hear back right now from Redflex,” Harkins said.

Once the Town receives and approves Redflex’s updated construction programs, the cameras will go up.

“And it won’t take long to get in there. We’re probably talking about, from the day we tell them go, literally they could have them done in two weeks,” he said.

The Town also will be reinstating a 30-day warning period for that intersection for the first 30 days the new cameras are operating.

“There was not supposed to be a warning period by contract with Redflex, but the Town has asked for a 30-day warning period because of the confusion of the construction ... now that we’ve gotten through the holidays,” Harkins said.

“With the multiple lane changes over the last few months, we wanted people to get used to the intersection first before we start sending out citations,” he added.

During the warning period, drivers will receive warning citations that don’t have to be paid. Those warning citations only apply to drivers during the warning period. At the end of the 30 days, citations will be issued in earnest.

Harkins said he also wanted to remind drivers that there is no minimum time a driver must stop before turning right on red.


“One of the biggest things I hear from people is ‘Well, you have to stop for five seconds,’” Harkins said.

“There’s no minimum time to stop. As long as your wheels stop rolling, you’re considered stopped and it only has to be for a brief moment,” he added.

Harkins said that personally, when he is reviewing citations, if he questions whether a driver fully stopped or not, he gives the benefit of the doubt.

“We don’t issue citations if it’s that close,” he said.

“If you just stop, you won’t get a ticket. That’s the bottom line,” he added.

The Town also will have all yellow lights at photo-enforced intersections re-certified in January or February.

Before any cameras were installed, the Town had those yellow lights certified by an independent party to guarantee the lights stayed yellow for at least four seconds. Farragut officials have said the lights will be recertified every year.

“They have not been changed, and we will have them recertified every year to confirm that our timing is still where it is supposed to be,” Harkins said.

In the third quarter of 2010 (July through September), Farragut issues 2,154 citations out of 4,608 total incidents recorded by the cameras.

The total number of incidents is down 36 percent from the second quarter, and the number of citations issued was down 44 percent from that same time period.

If you have questions about the Town’s photo enforcement program, call Town Hall at 865-966-7057 or visit www.townoffarragut.org and click on the Photo Enforcement Program tab.

 

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