Department of Transportation expects to have first three of 20
cameras -- one in each county -- up and operating by Jan. 4,
according to spokesman Mike Williams. That is about two months
later than initially planned.
initial installations and a 90-day testing period, "we will work
up" to the full complement authorized by law, he said.
intersections are being chosen on the basis of frequency of
accidents attributed to drivers running red lights.
monitored at the Naamans Road-Concord Pike crossing is
westbound traffic on Naamans crossing the pike or turning left
DelDOT system, he explained, differs from the one employed in
the city of Wilmington in that the cameras, when tripped by the
speed of a vehicle approaching an intersection while the traffic
signal is changing, produce a 10- to 15-second digital
videotape record of what happens next. Part of the sequence is a
zooming-in on the offending vehicle's license plate..
Wilmington's cameras produce still photos of the violation and
the license plate.
statewide system, the tapes are automatically transmitted to
Nestor Traffic Systems, the Rhode Island-based contractor, and
from there are sent to the police agency with jurisdiction over
the intersection. In Wilmington, film has to be retrieved
periodically from the cameras.
said an officer will review the tapes to determine whether a
violation has occurred. A vehicle which is stopped beyond the
control line but does not enter the intersection, for instance,
would not be cited for a violation.
will be notified by mail. They may pay the $75 fine or contest
the citation in justice-of-the-peace court. The videotape will
be used as evidence if the citation is challenged. The law
provides that the owner of the vehicle is responsible for making
the fine, regardless of who was actually driving.
points are not assessed against the person's driver's license,
however. If stopped by a police officer for running a red
light and convicted of or pleading guilty to the offense results
in a three-point penalty.
will be paid a portion of each fine, but the amount has not yet
been determined, Williams said. He added that it will not be a
percentage because that would give the appearance of an
incentive. "It needs to be stressed that the point of the
program is a safety issue," he said.
operating costs prove to be higher than what is brought in in
the way of fines, that will be all right because "the savings
[from] preventing a fatal injury or property damage accident
would far exceed the pay-out," he said.
first three months, while the system is being evaluated and
debugged, only warnings will be issued to
camera-caught violators, Williams said.
plastic license plate covers are less likely to be effective in
thwarting the system because a running tape is more likely to
catch a glimpse of the number during the sequence than is a
still camera flashing a close-up only once.
DelDOT system is fully installed, there will be 10 cameras in
unincoproaated areas, six in Dover, two in Neark, one in Seaford
and one in Elsmere.