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News, State/Region — March 4, 2013 at 2:26 am

Red Light Camera Initiative

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ST. CLOUD, Minn. – For the past seven years, the city of St. Cloud has advocated for the installation of red light cameras.

“It [red light cameras] does change behavior – and there are numbers that would support that,” said St. Cloud Police Chief W. B. Anderson.

Over 500 cities across the United States have implemented these red light cameras and some areas have seen a 90% decrease in stoplight accident fatalities.

“Under MnDOT’s study from last year – we have two of the most dangerous intersections in the state – Highway 15 and 23 and Highway 15 and 2nd Street,” said  Dave Kleis, Mayor of St. Cloud.

A photo will only be taken of the drivers face and license plate if and when they were to run a red light.

Mayor Kleis also made it clear that these cameras would not be installed at every intersection and their purpose is to save lives – not generate city revenue dollars.

“My goal and hope is that we wouldn’t raise one single dime. Because then – people wouldn’t be running red lights.”

Right now red light cameras are illegal in the state of Minnesota.

Even if bill 487 passes in the state senate, cities across Minnesota would not be seeing these cameras pop up right away. This bill simply provides Minnesota communities to choose for themselves whether their implementation is necessary.

Among other concerns, some believe these cameras are violating one’s right to personal privacy.

“Every time we step outside of our front door you can count on your picture being taken – 30…50…100 times a day. Every time you walk into a convenience store, department store – if you walk into a bank, if you use an ATM machine,” responds Chief Anderson.

Another frequently asked question is – what if someone else is driving my car and that person is issued a ticket – what happens then?

“It takes a photo of the driver and the license plate so you can determine who’s driving the car so obviously you’re not just ticketing the vehicle,” reassures Kleis.

If and when these red light cameras are implemented in the St. Cloud area will soon to be determined.

 

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