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Red light cameras now live on US 290

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Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 2:22 pm

The warning period has ended for the red light cameras stationed on U.S. 290 in Elgin. Effective Jan. 1, drivers caught running red lights at those intersections will receive citations. 

Elgin Police are now issuing citations to red-light runners with a fine of $75 to motorists who run red-lights at intersections monitored by red-light safety cameras. The city’s program uses cameras at the intersections of:

• US 290 @ County Line Rd 

• US 290 @ W 11th St 

• US 290 @ TX Loop 109/ Harris St 

• US 290 @ US 95 North/ Saratoga

Police issued 1,023 warnings during the 30-day warning period.  On average, a red light was run 34 times a day at each monitored intersection. 

“Our goal is to stop red-light violators and prevent collisions and injuries that result from running a red light. There warnings issued showed that drivers are making dangerous decisions at intersections,” said Assistant Chief  Phillip Taylor. “We’ve publicized this program and encouraged people to stop on red. Hopefully now drivers are thinking twice before putting lives at risk and running the red light.”

Citations will go to the registered owner of the vehicle. If there is a mistake and the vehicle has been sold, the previous owner has a chance to send in proof that he is no longer the registered owner and have the ticket dismissed. 

“We didn’t count the locals vs. out-of-town drivers, but my guess is the majority of violations were from out of town — Bastrop, Houston, out-of-state, and the Austin area,” Taylor said. 

Taylor said instances that are “too close to call” will probably not lead to traffic tickets. “Before we get them, they are reviewed in advance,” he said. “The ones we get are the clear cut violations. If the light is red before you hit the white stripe, that’s a clear cut violation.” 

During the testing period, 2,200 actual violations were recorded. About half of those were rejected, Taylor said. 

The camera takes a snapshot of a vehicle before it enters the intersection, when it is on the opposite side of the white stripe and the light is red. If the vehicle enters the intersection when the light is still red, another picture is taken; nine to 10 seconds of video is also produced, starting a few seconds before the violation. The video can be slowed down, frame by frame. 

The program is administered by American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS). When the cameras are triggered, images are first sent to Phoenix, Ariz., then evaluated. Cases that are considered most clear-cut are then sent to the Elgin Police Department, where officers review them again before issuing tickets.

“Red light running is a deadly epidemic,” said Taylor. “In 2009, red-light running killed 676 people and injured an estimated 130,000 across the country.  With 79 red-light running related fatalities, Texas was the second most deadly state in the nation for red-light running.

“Sadly, two-thirds of those deaths were people other than the red-light runner. Rigorous research shows red-light safety cameras reduce red-light running and the opportunity of the dangerous front-into-side collisions that cause so many deaths and injuries. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates red-light safety cameras reduce traffic fatalities by 24 percent.”


  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • seeing red in elgin posted at 3:07 pm on Mon, Jan 18, 2016.

    seeing red in elgin Posts: 2

    Apparently the warning period ended before Jan 1 for some (12-27-2015). How can they justify this when the speed limit is around 60, and there are no countdown or warning signs of the light about to change? On a wet night, the light should allow more time. It's no wonder that the people throughout the area are upset with these cameras. What about adjusting for speed and weather conditions at each location?[sad]

  • Frank47 posted at 6:37 am on Wed, May 2, 2012.

    Frank47 Posts: 1

    These cameras are a money generator and has nothing to do with safety. Houston voters rejected these cameras and now they are gone. It was proven that these cameras only increase rear end accidents. I hope the citizens of Elgin wise up and see what the real purposes of the cameras are and vote to remove them. American Traffic Solutions is the real winner in this contract.

  • bigjack posted at 6:03 pm on Sun, Jan 15, 2012.

    bigjack Posts: 88

    So I stop and the car behind me does not - ACCIDENT! Most likely I'm the one to really get hurt and car damaged! My insurance goes up; the city get big bucks and the cops continue to do nothing except eat donuts! Yep, just what Elgin needs! And don't forget all that tax income from WalMart-ha ha-WalMart won't pay a dime in taxes for years!

  • Mikein the Country posted at 10:28 am on Sat, Jan 14, 2012.

    Mikein the Country Posts: 3

    Those figures show around 75,000 dollars revenue a month, or nearly a million dollars a year. Quite a windfall.

  • cfssgroup posted at 8:51 am on Fri, Jan 13, 2012.

    cfssgroup Posts: 2

    great, let the increase in accidents begin. Why is it cities all over Texas and the country are tearing the cameras down after they see accidents go up or the voters rise up against the abuses but Elgin is putting them up? Is their budget really in that bad of shape that they have to put this money grab up? Hopefully the citizens will rise up against this monstrosity. Drivers should know there is no real penalty for not paying these scamera tickets. Learn to fight back at www.citizensforsaferstreets.com and www.trashyourticket.com

  • cfssgroup posted at 8:46 am on Fri, Jan 13, 2012.

    cfssgroup Posts: 2

    Great, let the accidents begin. Why is it all over Texas and the country cities are tearing down the cameras because they found out they increase accidents or the voters rose up against them and Elgin ignores that and installs them? Is their budget really in that bad of shape where they have to do this money grab? ATS is the worst of the worst in camera companies. They lie about the stats, sue to harras voters who dare to petition against them and sue the cities they contracted with. I hope the citizens put together a petition like other cities have. Also, everyone should know there is no real penalty for not paying these civil violation tickets. No arrest, doesn't go on your credit or license or insurance. Fight back! Read more at www.citizensforsaferstreets.com and www.trashyourticket.com

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