will cost the owners of vehicles which enter an intersection
after the signal shows red at a speed which indicates deliberate
intent to violate the law $50. They will receive the summons in
the mail a few days later. During the first 30 days of
operation, warnings will be issued instead of summonses.
cameras will record the violations. Initially, they will be
mounted at five city intersections where red light running is a
relatively frequent occurrence with an additional 10
intersections to be targeted soon after startup.
Councilman Gerald Brady, who sponsored enabling legislation
approved by Council last July, said the intent is not to
increase the amount collected in fines but to deter a dangerous
practice which has become increasingly common. According to a
published study, Delaware ranks ninth among the states in the
proportionate number of accidents attributed to running red
program "addresses a major public safety problem which all
[jurisdictions] have to deal with, especially in the urban
environment where you create a safety hazard when police
vehicles stop violators," Brady said. "We
also hope to send a message to drivers."
the new system found up to an average of 88 violations a day at
one of the targeted intersections, New Castle and Christiana
Avenues. Concord Avenue and Broom had a total of 87. There were
77 at South Walnut and A Streets.
reported by Delaforum, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp.
will conduct the program under a three-year contract. The firm
will receive $43 from each paid ticket for the first 50,000 and
$30 for each one after that.
said that the idea originated in Sweden, where the camera that
is used was invented. It has proven successful in Europe and is
now being adopted in several locales in the United States and
He said implementation of the program
in Wilmington was delayed primarily while
arrangements were made for adjudication of disputed summons in
justice of the peace court. Photographs of violations,
however, are considered prima facie evidence of a violation and
state law now permits levying the fine against the owner of the
vehicle enters an intersection illegally its motion trips the
shutter of a mounted camera. It takes a black-and-white picture
of the rear of the vehicle, showing its license plate. Ownership
is determined by tracing that through motor vehicle
Bureau of Police selected the intersections where the cameras
will be placed. A few intersections found to have a high number
of violations had to be eliminated because their physical layout
did not provide a suitable place for a camera.
those is New Castle and Christiana Avenues where the largest
number of violations were found. In that case, it also was
decided that intersecting traffic on Christiana was not of a
large enough volume to pose as much of a safety threat as
existed at other places.
the one with the highest average of violations during the
validation tests was Fourth and Union Streets with 62
light-runners in vehicles traveling south on Union. About a
third of the violations occurred between 4 and 5 p.m.
second was Lancaster Avenue and Du Pont Street, where there were
59 by vehicles eastbound on Lancaster. Those offenses were
spread over most of the day with the largest average being a
dozen between 7 and 8 a.m.
traffic on Concord Avenue at Broom Street came in third with 58
violations while drivers traveling southbound on Concord Avenue
went through the light 29 times. Peak time for the former was
during the afternoon rush when the heavier volume is leaving the
city. There was no hourly report on the southbound traffic
available. That is the only intersection among those now
targeted where cameras will be aimed in more than one direction.
Pennsylvania and Woodlawn Avenues was found to have the fourth
most frequent incidence of violations -- 54 eastbound on
Pennsylvania with more than a third during the morning rush --
the Pennsylvania-Greenhill Avenues intersection two blocks away
has been selected for the initial operation with eastbound
traffic targeted. The test found that intersection had an
average of 35 violations.
selected intersections and directions of travel, listed in
descending order of the number of violations found during the
test, are: Lancaster Avenue eastbound at Lincoln Street; Union
northbound at Prospect Road; Fourth eastbound at West Street;
King Street southbound at 11th Street; Fourth westbound at
Orange Street; Lancaster eastbound at Broom Street; Northeast
Boulevard southbound at 12th Street; Lancaster eastbound at
Jackson Street; Northeast southbound at 30th Street; and Adams
Street northbound at Second Street.
said it will be possible to relocate the cameras to other
intersections and eventually to place them in vehicles which can
be posted anywhere in the city.
we hope this does is to modify behavior so that drivers are more
careful to obey the lights everywhere," he said.