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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.] 

Andrew J. Hipszer June 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I think they should make them slightly lenient
Mike Shortall Sr June 30, 2012 at 08:45 PM
In Philadelphia along Roosevelt Blvd are 3 that were listed as the most deadliest intersections in America. The cameras - and knowledge that they were there - have reduced the number of accidents at these intersections, along with the claim that not a single t-bone accident or pedestrian death has occurred at these intersections since the cameras were installed (http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/philadelphias-red-light-cameras-save-lives-642231/). No one like Big Brother watching them. But it's hard to argue with the fact that it works, AND violators can provide money to fund other projects.
Francine Graglia June 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Mike, No doubt that it works...when the playing field is level. Norristown will look for any way imaginable to put a "spin" on things and find a way to have others pay for their incompetence. It is yet another way for the kangaroo courts to charge you as guilty before being proven innocent. I'm ok with Big Brother watching me as long as he doesn't have his own agenda.
Dina T July 01, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Norristown needs to worry about the crime/theves/and the dam kids stealing everything then red light camera. All this money we pay in norristown not to be safe or be at work and people are robbing your home and nothing is done is crazy. Let's get the real stuff together Norristown. Always worried about taking money then using it for the right things. Maybe a new judge on the west end. New cops instead of the ones who think there ramboo and the badge means they can do what ever u want. Let's start there.
jennifer July 01, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I agree with dina but also belive the camra are i good ideal
Virginia Rueber July 01, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I voted yes because I have almost been hit four times this year by cars running red lights. Hamilton and Main has several cars running the red light as does DeKalb and Marshall just to name two. Maybe if they know "Big Brother" is watching them they'll stop for the red and I'm not talking about yellow slippers by, my light was green and I always wait for the other lanes to stop before I pull out or i would have been broadsided.
CryinSam Says July 02, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Begin with Main and Markley.
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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