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Sioux Falls Red Light Cameras Scare Motorists
Local police in South Dakota cite motorist avoidance of camera intersections as evidence of success.

Lt. Jerome MillerPolice officials in Sioux Falls, South Dakota are declaring the red light camera program they began in May 2004 as a success. Police Lieutenant Jerome Miller told KELO-TV that the drop in violations issued was an indication that the program is working. "They've been a steady decline," Miller said. "We've cut the violations in half essentially from the very beginning."

Miller also cited the fact that people avoid the red light camera intersections as evidence that the program is creating a safety benefit. "I've heard people say they will drive 2 blocks out of their way to avoid the intersection because they're afraid of that," Miller said. "There is nothing to be afraid of it's just a case of paying attention to what you're doing and stopping when the light turns red and you'll be fine."

According to a confidential memorandum, camera settings in the city of London are routinely adjusted to achieve "a pre-determined daily level" of violations, calling into question the use of violation statistics to establish a safety benefit.

Article Excerpt:
In each of the first two months, the cameras caught more than 1,000 drivers running red lights. In January and February this year, the fewest number of citations went out, 427. In March, 566 drivers received citations for failing to stop, or for turning right on red.
Source: Red Light Camera Successful (KELO-TV (SD), 5/3/2005)

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