Red-light cameras installed, bugs being worked out before put into use


GREENVILLE, Pitt County - Red-light camera equipment is now installed at all five Greenville locations designated for them as part of the city's new program. The intersections that will get them are ...

-- Charles Boulevard and 14th Street -- Charles Boulevard and Fire Tower Road -- Arlington Boulevard and Fire Tower Road -- Arlington Boulevard and Greenville Boulevard -- Arlington Boulevard and South Memorial Drive

From now until Oct. 15, red-light cameras aren't officially turned on but traffic engineers are still working out the kinks. After that, the cameras will start capturing photos and issuing warnings.

"So that's what we're going through now is a field calibration, so any flashes you see, we're in test mode," said City Traffic Engineer Rik Dicsare.

But how does the technology work? Let's say this is your intersection. The camera will start detecting any car that passes it in any lane. Once the light turns red, your car should be behind the stop line. But if your front tires roll over that stop line when the light turns red, then you've run the light and the camera can detect that.

Dicsare said that might trigger some rear-end collisions at first.

"People think 'oh my God this is a red light camera, I better stop' where normally they would have just gone through the red light, right?" Dicsare said. "So that does happen, but it's those t-bone right-angle collisions at 40 miles an hour that we're trying to fix."

The five intersections that are getting the red-light cameras were chosen for their high rate of t-bone accidents. There were 204 combined at the five intersections in the past five years.

"We're trying to change people's behavior and how they drive," Dicsare said. "By doing it at select intersections, we're hoping that this will bleed over into their every day driving."

The warning photos start Oct. 15. After 30 days, any photos taken will result in real tickets, which will cost $100.