Many don’t know how the system really works
Many KHTS listeners have emailed or called in asking specifically how red light cameras work. With several camera laden intersections already in full operation throughout Santa Clarita and more on the way, now is a good time to get to the basics of how the system works, and who gets the tickets.
Colleen Murphy works with the Sheriff’s department and the City of Santa Clarita to personally oversee the red light cameras from a room where the footage is constantly streamed in.
The simple truth is that the cameras do not take a picture until the light turns red. Then, the authorities are looking for those who enter the intersection after that point. So if you enter the intersection while it is yellow and it turns red while you are in it…you should be fine.
However, if the light is yellow before you enter the intersection, you run the risk of it turning red just as you enter, which would be a ticket-worthy offense.
Any disputes regarding the tickets are often times hard to prove. That’s because the cameras are high resolution, and they record not only pictures, but video as well. So the authorities can see not only the license plate of the car, but also the identity of the person driving. And a rolling video will prove once and for all the exact location of the vehicle when the light turns red.
Many who opposed the cameras’ implementation claimed that the system will cause people to slam on their brakes, thus inciting more accidents at the lights.
So far, Murphy says that no such trend had emerged. As for slamming on your brakes, Murphy says the best way to avoid it, is to not be going so fast when you approach the light.