Independence considers cameras to catch traffic violators - KCTV5 News

Independence considers cameras to catch traffic violators

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Sugar Creek and Kansas City have had red-light cameras, and Independence is considering adding them.

In addition to cameras that catch red-light runners, Independence is also looking at photo cameras like what Sugar Creek has to get drivers to slow down.

Sugar Creek police Chief Herb Soule said a photo camera helps catch speeders. He said one installed at Sterling Avenue and Lake Street near a school will save lives. The camera snaps a picture when it detects excessive speed.

The Independence City Council will consider an ordinance allowing a vendor to install red-light cameras in the city. The city would not have to pay any installation costs, but would instead share with the vendor the fines obtained from violators.

Kansas City and Sugar Creek mail tickets to a vehicle's owner who is responsible no matter whether they are driving or not.

Independence City Manager Robert Heacock said he thinks Independence needs to have on the books the ability to install red-light cameras.

He also said photo cameras could protect children walking to and from schools. He said they would send an important message.

While Independence leaders would have to work all the details out, the city would likely install photo cameras by schools when asked to do so by the school districts in the city.

"When we look at situations involving school children, we don't want to wait and have an accident and then not be able to respond with every method at our disposal," Heacock said.

If the council gives the green light to implementation, Heacock said he would like to see a one-year pilot program. He said Kansas City has seen a 65 percent reduction in crashes since installing red-light cameras in 2009.

Kansas City leaders were told crashes and red-light runners were down at most intersections where there are cameras. Crashes did go up at three of the 17 intersections with the red-light cameras. All three intersections were on U.S. 71.

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