published Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Study: Speeding increased after traffic cameras disabled

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    Staff photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Motorists pass one of a number of traffic cameras that monitor the ridge cut along I-24 on Wednesday.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — A study has found that the number of speeding motorists increased immediately following a decision to disable traffic cameras in Oak Ridge.

The study by Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. was done at the city’s request after officials decided not to renew a contract making use of the cameras, which were turned off April 21.

“At the request of the city, Redflex disabled the cameras and flashes but allowed the computers and sensors to remain operational, allowing for the continued collection of traffic count and speed data for analysis,” according to the study.

“Speeding began to increase immediately after the cameras were deactivated,” the report continues.

Redflex spokesman Lee Buckels told The Knoxville News Sentinel that the company compared traffic statistics from the three weeks immediately before and after the cameras were turned off.

City Manager Mark Watson says he isn’t aware of any move by the City Council to reconsider its April decision.

The company’s study also noted that the city received $1.2 million in revenue from tickets issued by the traffic cameras, which has been used on various safety projects.

“By the decommissioning of the program, future projects will have to be funded by taxpayer dollars instead of an optional violator funded program,” the study said.

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