Dangerous intersection gets thousands of red light citations - CBS46 News

Dangerous intersection gets thousands of red light citations

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ATHENS, GA (CBS46) -

If you crunch the numbers, an average of 20 drivers a day will receive a citation in the mail for running the red light at Barnett Shoals and Gaines School Road in Athens.

Since the two red light cameras were installed eight months ago, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department has issued 4,620 citations. A majority are for drivers not making a complete stop before turning right on red.

"There is a lot of vehicles coming through this intersection," Sergeant Jimmy Carter said. "There is obviously a lot of non-compliance from our drivers in this area, and we are trying to change that driver behavior for our pedestrian safety."

But, Carter admits the cameras and signage has not helped the situation. Carter said the department is pulling in a lot of revenue for the violations. But, that isn't why the lights were installed. And Carter said he has to go through each video and decide whether or not a driver is ticketed. Carter said he has gone through well over 10,000 videos.

"Some morning's I'll get in and have to go through 500 videos," Carter said. "It gets difficult going through all that video."

The intersection is near three schools. We spoke to a student at a nearby high school who said it is very dangerous to cross, even when pedestrians have the right of way.

"I've almost been hit," Zarria Barksdale said. "When it is my turn to walk, and people are still going, it is really dangerous. Cars are going here super-fast."

Police hope after more time passes the cameras will start to have an impact. For pedestrians like Barksdale, they said they are working to ticket drivers, but not stopping drivers from running red lights.

"I guess the cameras don't really help, apparently, because it says photo enforced and they are not regarding it whatsoever," Barksdale said.

In court, Carter said they haven't lost a single case when someone comes in to fight their citation. The fine is a flat $70 even if you are cited more than once.

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