Red Light Cameras Reduce Austin Crashes

Austin intersections with red-light cameras have seen a 30 percent drop in wrecks, city officials say. Police Lt. Brian Gruetzner , who oversees vehicular homicide and the red-light cameras, says the 30 percent decrease in wrecks " is pretty substantial for anyone."

The cameras were phased in at nine intersections — with more than one camera at some — beginning in May 2008. They have brought in more than $100,000 in citations. Each citation is $75, but that fine can increase if people pay late.

50 percent of the photos of red-light violators are thrown out after the vendor and an officer review them because the pictures don't clearly show the driver running the red light.

The Austin City Council approved a 15-year, $15.8 million contract with Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. to install and maintain the cameras and to do initial processing of violations. There is no plan to expand the program. The city pays Redflex $4,870 per camera per month to cover the operation, maintenance and monitoring of the cameras.