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Should Norristown Have Red Light Cameras?

The state legislature passed a bill to allow red light cameras in Montgomery, Delaware and Bucks counties.

According to a release issued by AAA MId-Atlantic, the Pennsylvania legislature is wrapping up its session with a bill to allow red light cameras in the Philadelphia suburbs and in Pittsburgh. 

House Bill 254 passed handily in the state Senate on Friday, June 29, with 34 yeas and only 15 nays and if signed into law by Gov. Corbett, would reauthorize the red light camera program in Philadelphia through July 2017, but would also allow for the cameras to be used in some municipalities in Montgomery, Delaware and Bucks counties as well as Pittsburgh.

Municipalities eligible for the red light cameras would have to exceed 20,000 residents and have full-time police forces accredited by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. That makes Norristown eligible for the cameras.

Details of the law:

  • Fines would be set at $100 (unless a lower amount is approved by the municipality.)
  • The violation would not carry any points. 
  • The legislation prohibits frontal photographs of vehicles.
  • The cameras only can be used for traffic enforcement, not surveillance. 

Other Montgomery County communities that are eligible for cameras include Abington, Horsham, Lower Merion, Lower Providence, Montgomery, Upper Dublin and Upper Merion.

AAA says it strongly supports the same protections for citizens that are provided in Philadelphia’s red light camera program including:

  • Posted warning signs telling motorists that red light cameras are present.
  • Camera vendors are paid a flat amount, not related to number of citations issued.
  • PennDOT has sole responsibility for approving intersections, and the camera locations are based solely on crash data, not traffic volume.
  • Yellow light timing cannot be arbitrarily changed.
  • Revenue goes to Pennsylvania’s Motor License Fund for safety and mobility projects throughout the state, not just the local jurisdiction.

So what do we think? Should Norristown have red light cameras? Take our poll below and/or let us know what you think in the comment section.

[Editorial Note: This story has been update with corrected information. This story originally incorrectly identified Chester County as eligible for red light camera enforcement.] 

JayJones July 03, 2012 at 09:38 PM
How about ticketing the countless people that cross against the light on Main St? This is just a very lazy way of raising revenue. It has absolutely zero to do with safety.
James C. Walker July 06, 2012 at 03:23 AM
What the camera supporters won't tell you is that Philadelphia police data says the camera program there RAISED accident rates, both when they were new in 2005 and continuing through last fall after several years of operations. Oh, and guess which police agency was NOT invited to testify at a House hearing last fall about the cameras, the hearing where all the agencies in the $45 million dollar revenue stream from the cameras were invited to testify? I know, I know, that is a HARD question to answer. RIGHT. At the hearing, Philadelphia officials seemed very proud the program was able to reduce violations by about 50% after one year. In almost every case, red light violations can be reduced by 60% to 90% in ONE DAY with safer, longer yellow intervals, without the need to pick the pockets of drivers. See our website for the research on how to engineer intersections for more safety at very low costs. Unfortunately, engineering for safety is not profitable, so many cities prefer to use predatory red light camera cash registers. If Norristown officials value ticket revenue above safety, hang on to your wallets. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor, MI (I was the NMA person who testified at the hearing, the only person not in the revenue stream from the cameras.)
marty merritt July 06, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I do not trust small municipalities to administer a program like this
Tim Armstrong is a DICK January 08, 2013 at 03:28 PM
these red light cameras are a total waste of money. they were a huge disaster in LA: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/los-angeles-red-light-cameras_n_911577.html I never got a ticket, but I the cameras were a total hazard because people slam on their brakes when they see them. there is also no way for the camera to tell whether youre making a legal right hand turn when they go off.
derrick January 08, 2013 at 03:45 PM
They keep bringing up main n markley accidents only happens from one way.Why don't they just put a display up like other towns saying traffic light is coming up ahead on danhower bridge coming into Norristown.

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