Sudbury Red-Light Cameras Yield Over 4,600 Citations in Ten Months

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In Sudbury, the vigilant eye of red-light cameras has been active over the past year, documenting motorists erratically breezing through traffic lights at various city intersections.

City authorities affirmed that between September 21, 2022, and July 31, 2023, a staggering 4,660 citations were issued for red-light violations at the six fixed camera sites.

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According to Joe Rocca, acting director of linear infrastructure services, “The cameras have performed exceptionally well, minus a few weather-induced hiccups which were promptly addressed. Their effectiveness in catching red-light violators has been truly notable.” If one were to critically examine the statistics, it equates to about 15 drivers ticketed daily.

Rocca confessed that these figures were substantial, signaling hope for a decline with aggressive public sensitization campaigns about the gravity of ignoring traffic signals. Sudbury could amass over $1.5 million from the fine levy of $325 per offender, a circumstance that has fuelled critique, with some terming it a deliberate attempt by the city to create revenue.

Contradicting these allegations, Rocca emphasized, “Our focus is always on fostering safety. Indeed, the revenue generated might seem lucrative, but the primary rationale for identifying these locations was to reduce the chance of accidents and improve safety conditions.”

Rocca elucidated that those intersections were notorious for ‘angle-type collisions,’ registering above-average incident rates. In his opinion, “The efficacy of a red light camera system is palpable, as it has eliminated around 25% of the possible accidents.” However, he clarified that it’s premature to quantitatively assess the reduction.

Councilman Al Sizer of Ward 8 staunchly supports the decision to install these cameras, asserting that this is not about revenue generation but rather promoting the safety of Sudbury’s residents.

“I firmly believe that the safety of our citizens takes precedence over the profits generated, and I hope that we can bring about a notable decrease in violations by strictly adhering to the Highway Traffic Act. Stop at the red lights—that’s a simple solution,” Sizer stated.

Highlighting the abundant red-light violation tickets issued by the city, Sizer affirmed the necessity of the established camera system.

“Serving as council members, we field countless complaints ranging from stop sign infractions to speeding. These cameras are yet another tool at our disposal to safeguard our community,” he observed.

City officials are slated to review the program by year’s end, examining the need for expansion or if the current six-camera system suffices.

Meanwhile, on the streets, public opinion is divided. At the Lasalle and Montrose intersection, Robert, a local business owner, expressed scepticism, saying, “I believe these cameras merely penalize drivers for simple mistakes instead of targeting habitual offenders.”

Conversely, Ray appreciated the initiative, saying, “I believe it’s a positive move. Our city does host a handful of aggressive drivers, and any efforts to curb their reckless habits is welcome.”

Echoing Ray’s sentiments, Anne also praised the system, stating, “This prevents individuals from recklessly driving through red lights which significantly reduces accidents. This intersection where we’re standing right now is particularly notorious, and from personal observation, the cameras do help.”