Springfield red light traffic cams discussed - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield red light traffic cams discussed

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When the traffic light is red, you're supposed to stop. If you don't and you zoom through the intersection, be careful because some officials in the City of Springfield are trying to give red light traffic cams the green so they'll nab you if you zoom through.

So far 23 states and the nation's capital have red light traffic cams. Springfield could be the first Massachusetts municipality to approve the red light cams. City Councilor Jimmy Ferrera started the discussion in March.

"I think it's a matter of public safety," he says. "I went out to a neighborhood council (Wednesday) night and their concern is public safety in terms of traffic."

Thursday, the public safety committee held a public meeting with reps from a traffic cam company. And now, councilors are putting out bids to see which red light cam crew has the best offer for Springfield.

"It's not the actual camera that's sending the violation," says Andrew Schauder, of American Traffic Solutions. "It does take a picture and actual video of the violation, which is then sent to the police department who actually reviews the violation and then determines if an actual violation did occur. Then it goes out from the police department and a citation is issued."

Some pros to the proposed cameras are making streets safer for those on wheels and on foot and revenue citations would generate for the city.

"If it's passed, and it's managed and done correctly, there could be a revenue generator for the city of anywhere from $4 to $5 million a year," Ferrera says.

But opponents still say no way.

"(The picture) only identifies the license plate, not the driver," says Anthony Rondoletto, who is against the cameras. "You could have a relative or a friend driving and they could get a ticket and you get it in the mail and it's a surprise."

Others, like Springfield resident Felix Rodriguez, want the red light cams.

"Right here in downtown, there's a lot of people that walk and people don't pay attention. I think they really need to pay attention and put those cameras up," he says.

There's still a very long way to go before this comes to Springfield, if it does. First, the city council has to pass it. Next, the mayor has to sign off. Then, it goes to Beacon Hill where lawmakers will have to pass it. If all goes through, the City of Springfield would be the first municipality in Massachusetts to give the red light traffic cams the green light.

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