Medford eyes traffic cams at four more intersections

City Council tells police to gather more information and bring back a formal proposal

More Medford residents could get nabbed running red lights if the police get approval to install new traffic cameras at four intersections.

"It's a public safety issue," police Chief Tim George said to the City Council Thursday.

Red-light camera court actions

2010 2011 2012

Convictions 1,113 840 1,458

Dismissed 334 271 389

Traffic school diversions 452 274 385

Not guilty 0 0 0

Source: Medford Police Department

The city has red light cameras installed at McAndrews and Biddle roads, and at Stewart Avenue and Barnett Road.

George proposed adding cameras at Jackson Street and Riverside Avenue, Table Rock Road and North Pacific Highway, Stewart and Columbus avenues, and at Highway 62 and Vilas Road.

The council gave George the go-ahead to gather more information about the red-light camera program and bring it back for possible approval at a later date.

Redflex Traffic Systems receives 70 percent of the fine from each citation as payment for the installation of the red-light cameras. Redflex would handle the maintenance, and the city would pay for permits and signs.

For the first 50 citations — on a standard $260 red-light fine — Redflex receives $162, the state gets $45, the county gets $16 and the city receives $17.

After the first 50 citations, Redflex gets $130, the state gets $45, the county receives $16 and the city gets $69.

The amount can vary depending on the actual fine imposed by a judge.

Revenue from the program netted the city $44,204 in 2010, $20,104 in 2011 and $58,526 in 2012.

"It's not a huge revenue stream," George said.

Police officers review photos of each possible red-light violation, discarding many because of a variety of circumstances including visibility problems or a motorist temporarily gets stuck in an intersection as an emergency vehicle passes by.

A 12-hour analysis at three of proposed intersections found many motorists violating traffic laws.

At Table Rock and North Pacific Highway, 48 violations were observed on April 12, 2011. Redflex observed 46 violations at Stewart and Columbus on April 11, 2012. At Highway 62 and Vilas, 56 violations were observed on Nov. 3, 2010.

Jackson and Riverside is being considered because the intersection has a history of crashes.

Accidents at McAndrews and Biddle averaged 33 a year from 2002 to 2004. After the installation of cameras, accidents averaged 22 a year from 2008 to 2012.

At Stewart and Barnett, 22 accidents were the average from 2002 to 2003. From 2004 to 2012, the average was 10 accidents a year.

Deputy Chief Randy Sparicino said his department is looking at a phased-in approach to the new cameras over a two-year period.

In addition, his department may want to add extra cameras at existing intersections. In some cases, not all lane movements are visible through the existing cameras, he said.

The city will have to enter into a new, long-term contract with Redflex for the additional cameras.

The city also uses vans to catch speeders on various roads throughout the city.

George said he was the first one to receive a ticket from the van when the program was rolled out in 2002.

The police chief was heading south on Holly Street in his white Pontiac at 38 mph in a 25 mph zone. He received a citation, his first in 30 years of driving.

George signed up for the diversion program and inadvertently sent his money to a Florida company. He essentially paid twice for the diversion program.

"We even cite ourselves," George said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @reporterdm.


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