Columbia plans to install first red-light cameras

Thursday, June 11, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 9:38 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 9, 2009

COLUMBIA — The city of Columbia plans to install red-light cameras at two intersections by early next month.  

A traffic study, conducted by Allstate Consultants at Providence Road and Broadway and also at Stadium Boulevard and Worley Street, led to the decision to put cameras in these two intersections, according to a city staff memo.

Tony St. Romaine, assistant city manager, said the cameras are necessary to lower the number of red-light violations in the two areas.  

“There are a significant number of violations at those two intersections on a daily basis, and there is a need to have these cameras installed,” St. Romaine said.  

Columbia Police Department spokeswoman Jessica Haden identified safety as a primary concern.

"Our hope is that, knowing red-light cameras are coming into existence, people will take that to heart and slow down," she said.

St. Romaine said the cameras will be in place the week of July 6.  

The city is also considering an advertising campaign to make residents aware of the new cameras.  

St. Romaine said there are plans to conduct studies on several other intersections. The results from the studies will determine which intersections receive cameras in the future.

“I would say that (the studies) would be completed within the next 60 days,” he said.  

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Greg Collins June 11, 2009 | 10:45 a.m.

Let's not kid one another, revenue is needed and these cameras are put in place to get it start flowing in ... as that, not safety, is the real reason behind this effort.

If safety were goal, increasing the yellow time on lights by a second or two - a no cost option - is the way to go.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock June 11, 2009 | 11:21 a.m.

Well there are several pitfalls to red light cameras the big issue is that now we have to dedicate police officers to review the tickets before they are sent out. I would rather have the officers out on the street.

(Report Comment)
Smiley Williams June 11, 2009 | 12:25 p.m.

I have to agree with Allan. It's a revenue generator!

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 11, 2009 | 2:44 p.m.

Here's hoping MODOT controls the timing on those signals and the city or its vendor cannot "tweak" them as has happened in other communities.

(Report Comment)
mo willams June 11, 2009 | 10:00 p.m.

Traffic cameras cause serious accidents. See link below.

(Report Comment)
mo willams June 11, 2009 | 10:04 p.m.

link in the article to many studies

(Report Comment)

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