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Red-light Cameras Nab 800 in Oceanside, Calif. in Six Weeks

March 22, 2005

OCEANSIDE, CA — City records show that red-light cameras installed at two of Oceanside's busiest intersections accounted for an average of 17 citations a day from Jan. 10 to Feb. 24, the final day for which data was available, according to the North County Times newspaper.In a little more than six weeks, the city says it has mailed 800 citations to motorists caught on camera. "A few times we've seen them come through on a red light doing 60 miles per hour," said Sgt. Kevin Kaiser of the Oceanside Police Department.The cameras, mounted inside white boxes and perched atop tall steel poles, record four snapshots and a 12-second video of each vehicle that enters either intersection when the light is red.Every morning, Kaiser and other traffic department employees find a list of 50 to 70 red-light camera recordings made during the previous day. They must review each recording to determine whether to mail a ticket, which costs the motorist at least $351.According to the Police Department, the cameras captured 1,415 potential red-light runners during the first 45 days of active operation. Police officers threw out 615 of them — or 43 percent.Some of the recordings cast aside do not clearly show the face of the driver, making it impossible for the police to prove who was driving when the shutter snapped. In others, license plate numbers may not be clear or a driver may have entered the intersection before the light turned red. "We review each and every one of them," Kaiser said.
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