The Abington Police Department recently received bids from three “red light camera” vendors, but the township must wait for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation before it can continue with its red light camera program.
Abington Township Manager Michael LeFevre said Monday that the police department received bids from three different red light camera vendors last week. Those companies happen to be the same companies that responded to proposals from Springfield, Delaware County for its red light camera program.
According to LeFevre, the winning vendor will foot the cost of the equipment and installation; since the red light program in Abington will be revenue neutral, the winning vendor would receive a flat fee each month regardless of the amount of citations issued and any funds in excess of running the program will be remitted back to the state.
But, before the program can get rolling, LeFevre said PennDOT must first issue signal permits for each of the proposed three intersections to receive the red light cameras. They are:
- Old York and Susquehanna road
- Moreland and Fitzwatertown roads
- Old Welsh and Old York roads
PennDOT has the final say on whether the intersections meet the criteria to receive a camera, LeFevre said; he added that he doesn’t know when PennDOT will issue the signal permits.
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?