Pennsylvania, a late-comer to the use of traffic-light cameras, may be joining the controversial trend after a panel appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett has recommended that cities be allowed to deploy them, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 40-member Transportation Funding Advisory Commission also recommended that the Legislature authorize speed cameras in road construction zones. Currently, only Philadelphia is allowed to use red light cameras, under a pilot program that began in 2005. They are in place at 19 intersections and generate more than 100,000 citations a year.
The systems use sensors in the pavement to detect when a vehicle enters an intersection after the light has turned red. If it does, an overhead camera takes a photo of the license plate and generates a citation that is mailed to the car’s owner. Violations in Philadelphia carry a $100 fine. Drivers are warned about the cameras by signs on the approaches to the intersections. The Philadelphia Parking Authority, which administers the program, say it has been successful, cutting red-light running in half at intersections where cameras are deployed.