Large number of drivers caught on red light cameras
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- Are you one of the many caught running a red light in Sioux City during the last month? While the first tickets are arriving in the mail this week, it turns out more people got caught than what was even expected.
Police say the red light cameras are doing their job. Over 1,000 violations are now hitting mailboxes for those people who are accused of running red lights.
The intersection of Fifth and Court is just one approach in Sioux City monitored by a red light camera. There are eight snapping pictures throughout the city.
"I think we understood there was a problem, we hoped the problem wasn't as bad as it's turned out to be," said Captain Mel Williams.
Here's a break down of the numbers. Starting July 25th, the Red Flex company captured 1,730 possible violations. After review by the police department, 434 of them were thrown out for one reason or another. 268 are still being reviewed. That means 1,028 red light tickets have been mailed out. It's an average of 35 violations a day. Police say it's an alarming number considering that's only eight intersections out of Sioux City's 500.
"That's a lot of people that aren't obeying the traffic laws and we hope they start doing so," Williams said.
Before a violation ever reaches the police department, it's checked three times by the red light camera company to make sure it's a violation. Then it's reviewed one more time by the police department.
"And so at all of those levels they're doing quality control checks," Williams said.
Williams says that way they're confident what they're mailing out is a true violation.
"And so at each step there is some fine tuning we have to do but all in all the process is working better than we thought," said Williams.
The fine for one of these tickets is $107.25. If everyone who got a ticket in the first month paid up, the total would be more than $110,000.
Williams says not all of the violations mailed out will be paid and some will end up in court.
The Red Flex company gets more than $17 from every paid ticket on top of the $20,00 the company is paid every month for providing the service.
Some studies show if one person runs a red, there are usually one or more vehicles right behind them. Captain Williams says rear end accidents at the monitored approaches in Sioux City were actually down from five last year to only two this past July.