WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Newport possibly cracking down on red light runners and illegal turners….

101 @ 20, Newport
Traffic light violations

Prepared by: Jason Malloy, Chief of Police – Background Information:

In 2018, City Councilors voices safety concerns regarding red light intersections at Hwy 101/Hwy 20 and Hwy 20/Harney St.. Both of these intersections have had several near-miss crashes related to red light violations. Our patrol teams were directed to provide extra patrols in these areas. Officers were able to dedicate some time to red light enforcement, however available time to dedicate to only two locations is minimal due to other required duties.

In January 2019, I spoke with a consultant from Sensys America to discuss red light cameras. The conversation involved discussions related to the effectiveness of cameras, pros, cons, and details regarding Sensys America’s effectiveness.In February 2019, representatives from Sensys America installed cameras at the above intersections for a 24-hour period to observe the intersections.

While the amount of red light and turning violations were expected to be high, the actual results were greater than anticipated.The study showed blatant red light violations and also violations where drivers stopped at red lights, but stopped beyond the stop line. The data was extracted to only include violations that would be considered hazardous and issued a traffic citation.

The data listed below summarizes each intersection.
* Southbound Hwy 101/Hwy:20
45 Left turn red light violations,
4 Straight ahead red light violations,
95 Right turn red light violations at speeds greater than 10 MPH,
145 Violations Westbound Hwy 101/Hwy 20
5 Left turn red light violations
1 Straight ahead red light violations
584 Right turn red light violations at speeds greater than 10 MPH
590 Violations

Westbound Hwy 20 Harney St.
0 Left turn red light violations
1 Straight ahead red light violations
116 Right turn red light violations at speeds greater than 10 MPH
117 Violations Eastbound Hwy 20/Harney St.
2 Left turn red light violations
3 Straight ahead red light violations
169 Right turn red light violations at speeds greater than 10 MPH
174 Violations

Additionally, the cameras captured several hundred low speed traffic control device violations at each intersection, however only violations with set criteria for citations were included in this report. Set criteria included blatant violations while turning left or traveling straight ahead, or right turn violations where speeds greater than 10 MPH occurred.

Failure to obey a Traffic Control Device is a B violation in Oregon and subject to a $270.00 fine in Newport Municipal Court.

Based upon the data gathered in a 24-hour monitoring period, two cameras at Hwy 101/Hwy20 would have resulted in 735 citations, valued at $198,450. Based upon the data gathered in a 24-hour monitoring period, two cameras at Hwy 20/Harney St. would have resulted in 291 citations, valued at $78,570.

The study was conducted in Newport’s off season when traffic is minimal. Based upon historical traffic data and significantly increased traffic on weekends and summer traffic, the expected amount of violations is several thousand per year. If implemented, the City would need to strongly review a red light camera policy to include citation criteria. Sensys America has different rate models that are available for discussion.

Before we explore implementing red light cameras further in Newport, I request time to discuss the topic with our City Council to seek their direction.

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