Littleton City Council got its first look last week at data collected from the red light cameras at the corner of Broadway and Littleton Boulevard. …
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Littleton City Council got its first look last week at data
collected from the red light cameras at the corner of Broadway and
But it may be too early to say whether or not the cameras have
reduced the number of traffic accidents.
Littleton Police Department Division Cmdr. Bill Christensen
compiled the data, which spanned six months, from when the
Intersection Safety Program was implemented in August 2009 through
Feb. 28, 2010. The system was installed to monitor left-turn and
through lanes of eastbound and northbound traffic at the
During the six months, there were seven traffic accidents, most
of them rear-end collisions, at this intersection. The previous two
years had eight accidents each, Christensen said.
“This time period is not adequate to determine if the red light
systems are reducing accidents,” Christensen wrote in the
Christensen said there were numerous variables that could have
affected the results, including seasonal issues like snow, school
schedules and construction work.
Although some say the technology leads to more rear-end
collisions, Christensen says that is not the case here.
“I reviewed each (accident) and none indicated in the report
were anybody trying to stop at the last minute,” he said.
The number of accidents might not be down significantly, but the
number of violations is. Drivers who run a red light are
photographed and mailed a notice of violation, along with a $75
fine. Violations were down from 630 in September 2009 to 426 in
January 2010 — a 32 percent decrease.
“It certainly appears that the driving public is becoming more
compliant with the traffic signals, which is very positive,”
Data was incomplete for February because of a Feb. 8 accident
that damaged a camera pole. The system was back up and running on
Christensen said he has heard positive feedback about the
cameras from pedestrians who cross that intersection.
“They believe it is safer,” he said.
Eighteen people have been ticketed twice, but none more than
twice. About 50 people, or less than 2 percent, of the total number
of violators have requested a hearing in municipal court. Most of
those cases, Christensen said, involved people who had sold their
vehicle and the notice was sent to the wrong person or someone else
was driving their vehicle.
Littleton Mayor Doug Clark was the only councilmember to vote
against the red-light enforcement last year, saying he did not want
citizens to perceive the technology as a revenue generator for the
city. The average monthly payments for violations at the Broadway
and Littleton Boulevard intersection is $32,907. Littleton pays
$6,000 per month, per approach, according to Christensen.
“If the purpose is to reduce accidents, six months is not long
enough to know,” Clark said. “I have sat in that intersection
waiting and seen the thing flash, which means people are going
through that light.”
Councilmember Peggy Cole said she was glad the cameras have
seemed to improve the general courtesy and decreased speed in the
intersection. Cole added she would like to know how many violations
there were during the 30-day grace period.
From mid-July to mid-August American Traffic Solutions mailed a
warning notice to drivers who failed to stop at a red light at the
“I do think it’s of value to note how many violations there were
during the grace period,” Cole said.
Councilmembers and residents may just have to wait to see if the
red-light cameras have any effect on reducing the number of traffic
accidents. Two more red-light cameras, one at Santa Fe Drive and
Mineral Avenue, and one at Santa Fe Drive and Bowles Avenue, have
been installed and went live in January. Christensen said that by
the end of 2010, the city might have more meaningful
“I believe that we will have better numbers and better analysis
at the end of this year,” he said.
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