Abington is one step closer to having red light cameras at three of its busy intersections.
The Abington Public Safety Committee on Wednesday night awarded the contract for furnishing an automated red light enforcement (ARLE) system to Gatso, Inc. Should the motion pass the full board next month, cameras will be placed at the intersections of:
- Old York and Susquehanna roads
- Moreland and Fitzwatertown roads
- Old Welsh and Old York roads
Per the proposed agreement, Gatso will be responsible for “all costs and expenses associated with the supply, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, repair, replacement, and removal of the system and all related hardware and equipment.” Gatso will also provide signage for each intersection equipped with the cameras; three workstations to access the violation processing system; and training to township employees.
In return, Gatso will receive a flat monthly fee of $4,200 per camera, per month. Should the township not take in enough money through the program to cover the cost, Gatso will “absorb the loss," though it can recoup the loss in later months.
Any funds in excess of running the program will be remitted back to the state.
The township received similar bids from two other vendors — American Traffic Solutions, and Redflex Traffic Systems. Both vendors wanted about $4,500 per camera.
According to the Gatso website, the single-cabinet, 20-megapixel cameras are capable of capturing 30 frames per second and contain their own flash unit. The cameras, which can be installed in 90 minutes on existing poles, are also capable of reading license plates during an Amber Alert or a Silver Alert.
The Abington Board of Commissioners will meet Thursday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m.
The Abington Board of Commissioners passed the “red light camera” ordinance in May. Abington was one of 13 municipalities in Pennsylvania approved to consider red light cameras because of its size and its police department’s accreditation status.
Here are some of the basics:
- Capture the date, time, posted speed, approximate speed of vehicle, color of the light, length of the previous yellow light, length of red signal, and plate
- Shoot only the rear
image of a vehicle
- Are not permitted to
be used for surveillance
- The vendor installs,
maintains and transfers the images to the Abington Police Department
- Is a civil fine
- Is $100
- There will be a
60-day warning period upon implementation
- Does not interfere
with insurance premiums
- Is linked to the vehicle, not the driver
- Funds in excess of
running the program go back to PennDOT for transportation enforcement grants
- If the driver can prove that he or she wasn’t driving the vehicle at the time, the driver does not have to say who was driving.
- An Abington Police
officer will review each alleged violation, bringing a human element into the
mix … should a first responder or someone in a funeral procession get tagged
- An Abington Police
officer has to sign each citation.
- The length of a yellow light is calculated by PennDOT and is dependent on a road’s width and speed limit.
According to Abington Police Chief
William Kelly, last year there were 1,879 traffic violation-caused
crashes, which resulted in 185 injuries and two fatalities. He added that there
were 35 crashes in the corner of Moreland and Fitzwatertown roads; 41 crashes
in the corner of Old Welsh and Old York roads; and 110 crashes in the corner of
Old York and Susquehanna roads. (Neither of the two fatalities happened at any
of the above intersections.)
What are your thoughts on having red light cameras in the township?
First published Aug. 29, 2013 at 02:10 a.m.