Memphis red light cameras go live - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis red light cameras go live

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By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - With news cameras rolling, and curious onlookers all around, city officials activated Memphis' first set of red light cameras Wednesday at Winchester and Riverdale.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said the eye in the sky will allow officers to spend their time preventing more serious crimes.

"They will be more proactive in their communities, in their wards, instead of sitting here, because the cameras are doing it for us."

A total of 13 intersections will eventually have red light cameras will be activated through the program, which Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery said is not about punishing drivers.

"This is not a gotcha program," he said. "This is a safety program."

The cameras will send information to a network hub operated by American Traffic Solutions in Scottsdale, Arizona.  If a driver runs a red light, the camera will catch the infraction, snapping two pictures.  Technitions in Arizona will use the car's tag to collect information about its owner, and will then send the evidence to Memphis police.  If police in Memphis agree that a driver ran a red light, that person will be maled a ticket.

"You'll be sent a full color citation in the mail," said Jason Norton of American Traffic Solutions.  "It'll have pictures of your car."

Even thought the first cameras go live Wednesday, there will be a 30-day warning period during which no citations will be issued. (Click here to download a sample warning.)

Officials hope the warning period will help Memphis drivers get used to the new system.

After the 30-day period, drivers caught on camera running red lights will receive a citation for a $50 fine by mail.

Red Light Camera Go-Live Schedule: 

Riverdale Road at Winchester Road  -  Wednesday, October 07, 2009  -  Live

Germantown Parkway at Trinity Road  -  Wednesday, October 14, 2009  -  Upcoming

East Shelby Drive at Lamar Avenue  -  Wednesday, October 14, 2009  -  Upcoming

Germantown Parkway at Dexter Road  -  Wednesday, October 14, 2009  -  Upcoming

North Germantown Parkway at US-64  -  Friday, October 30, 2009  -  Upcoming

Winchester Road at Hickory Hill Road  -  Friday, October 30, 2009  -  Upcoming

Lamar Avenue at American Way  -  Wednesday, November 04, 2009  -  Upcoming

Lamar Avenue at Winchester Road  -  Wednesday, November 04, 2009  -  Upcoming

Germantown Parkway at Cordova Road  -  Wednesday, November 04, 2009  -  Upcoming

Austin Peay Highway at Yale Road  -  Wednesday, November 11, 2009  -  Upcoming

East Shelby Drive at Getwell Road  -  Wednesday, November 11, 2009  -  Upcoming

East Shelby Drive at  Millbranch Road  -  Wednesday, November 11, 2009  -  Upcoming

Poplar Ave at South Highland Street  -  Wednesday, November 11, 2009  -  Upcoming

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