Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Deal Reached for Red Light Cameras

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Deal Reached for Red Light Cameras

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | City attorneys have released a final agreement with the red light camera manufacturer that will install the devices at select intersections across the city.

The City Council approved the tentative contract with Gatso USA Inc. in January, but an agreement on the final details was not reached until recently.

City officials said there is no definitive date when the cameras will be installed. The exact intersections where the cameras will be placed have yet to be decided.

Deputy City Engineer David Griffin said Gatso will monitor certain intersections across the city that have seen a high number of red light violations in the past. The locations for the first round of cameras will be decided once the survey is complete.

"Gatso will set up video cameras on all approaches to each intersection to clearly identify a red light running problem and on which approaches the problem is the worst," Griffin said.

He declined to say which intersections were being surveyed.

"Public knowledge of the video recording could bias the studies," Griffin said.

Once the final locations are chosen, they will be announced and clearly marked.

Neither Griffin nor Mark Bedard, Gatso's regional sales manager for the eastern United States, said they were worried about a bill introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives that would ban camera-based traffic enforcement across the state.

Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, introduced the bill early in this year's Legislative session, but as of last week it had yet to clear the House committee in which it was introduced.

Bedard said he expects Tuscaloosa to see similar results as the company's other clients in 60 countries.

"Our client cities across the world have seen positive results from our systems," Bedard said, "and I think that's why the city of Tuscaloosa chose us."

Those results are fewer traffic accidents, red light violations and speeders, not only at the intersections in which the cameras are installed, but across the city, he said.

The agreement between City Hall and Gatso is in line with terms that were reached during discussions between the City Council and the company since December, when city leaders chose Gatso over three other companies after more than a year of consideration. …

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