Red light cams free up police - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Red light cams free up police

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Monday night the State Senate passed a bill the would ban red light traffic cameras from North Carolina intersections.

Wilmington officials say the cameras have greatly improved city streets since they were installed in 2000.

A SafeLight study shows that collisions at the 13 intersections with traffic cameras have reduced by more than 30% and injuries have dropped by nearly 40%.

Malissa Talbert with the city of Wilmington said few programs have brought about such a dramatic improvement in public safety.

Safety has improved away from crash sites as well. A police officer will spend an hour at a typical, bumper-to-bumper collision and up to 3 hours at a major crash. Now with less crashes and injuries Wilmington police have more time to patrol city streets.

Sergeant Mike Donelson with WPD said that the cameras provide around the clock coverage of the intersections, something his department can't possibly do.

But the cameras and their 24/7 coverage could be stopped. Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it moves to the State House next.

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