Denver Council Renews Red-Light Ticket Program, Considers Reducing Fine
The Denver City Council on Monday renewed the photo red-light program for a year, and voted to consider reducing the fine for cars that stop past white crosswalk lines. The program uses video and photos to catch traffic violators at four intersections, reports Deb Stanley on TheDenverChannel.com.
“It’s about safety for other motorists and safety for pedestrians,” said Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson. When a driver stops in the crosswalk, pedestrians often have to walk into a lane of traffic to cross the street, he said.
Under the current law, drivers who run a red light or stop in the crosswalk are fined $75. The council is considering reducing the crosswalk violation fine to $40.
Kurtis Ashton Lee writes in The Denver Post that Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman is proposing police issue a warning to first-time offenders instead of fining them:
‘We want to keep people safe, and I think this program changes peoples behavior to think before stopping over the white line,’ said Susman, who represents District 5. ‘Though ignorance of the law is no excuse, there are people who may not understand that rule and perhaps a warning will get us as much change in behavior as a fine will.’
Lee writes that Paul D. Lopez, who chairs the council’s safety committee favors a more lengthy discussion in committee and more input from the Denver Police Department before there is a final vote on the proposal. “My biggest interest in all this is to make sure we have public policy measures that are changing the behavior of motorists in our city,” Lopez said.
The Denver Post reports that an audit released in December showed that Denver’s revenues from the four red-light-camera intersections increased by 465% once the program began ticketing drivers who stopped in the crosswalk.