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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 15, 2009

First red-light camera installation to be active Jan. 22

Initial installation includes 30-day warning period

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Public Works Department today announced that installation is nearly complete on the City’s first red-light safety cameras. The safety cameras will be installed at the intersection of Southwest Trafficway and W. 39th Street and begin operation Jan. 22.

There will be a 30-day warning period for the first red-light safety camera installation. Warnings will be sent to vehicle owners by mail.

When additional intersections are added to the program there will be no warning period, but the public will be notified prior to each intersection activation. Locations will be released to the media and listed at http://www.kcmo.org/pubworks. Additional intersections will be announced in the coming weeks following the completion of traffic studies looking at which intersections red-light running is a common and dangerous occurrence.

“The intent of this program is to enhance safety for our residents,” said Stan Harris, director of the Public Works Department. “Too many drivers choose to ignore traffic signals and don’t see the dangers in running through a red light. We want to change this behavior and encourage people to slow down and definitely stop on red.”

The City chose Southwest Trafficway and W. 39th Street for the first deployment of red-light cameras based on results of a study showing more than 150 motorists ran red lights at that location in an eight-hour period.

Currently, more than 20 intersections are being evaluated for automated enforcement. During the evaluation process, a registered traffic engineer makes certain that the intersection meets or exceeds the Federal Highway Administration’s recommended countermeasures to reduce red-light running. Only after all recommended countermeasures are in place does the City consider an intersection a candidate for a red-light safety camera system.

One of the primary countermeasures is the correct timing of the yellow phase time for a traffic signal. The City’s traffic engineering staff has historically relied on the Federal Highway Administration’s “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices” and ITE Publication No. IR-115 to determine yellow phase times that maximize safety; this practice will not change. Only the City’s traffic engineers have authority and access to the traffic signal timing.

Red-light camera systems have proven effective in reducing the incidence of red-light running. Across the nation, more than 200 cities use photo enforcement technology as a traffic safety tool.

The City contracts with American Traffic Solutions Inc., to administer its red-light safety program. The company serves more than 130 communities across the U.S. with photo enforcement programs and is the largest provider of red-light camera systems in Missouri, serving St. Louis and 22 other communities throughout the state.

Media inquiries about Kansas City’s Red-Light Camera Safety Program should be directed to Dennis Gagnon, public information officer for the Public Works Department, (816) 513-2659.

Media inquiries about American Traffic Solutions Inc.,should be directed to Josh Weiss, director of Communications and Public Affairs, (480)-596-4613 or josh.weiss@atsol.com.

    
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