Santa Clarita City Council members OKed a one-year extension of red light cameras with RedFlex at the seven traffic intersections throughout the city where they operate.
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“This was put together for safety,” said Robert Newman, director of Public Works Department for the city of Santa Clarita, explaining the rationale for the move.
The approved recommended action, which passed with a 5-0 vote prompting humor from the dais, came near the end of a more than six-hour meeting Tuesday.
The contract was set to expire April 1 and renewed on a month-by-month basis for the next year by City Council members.
“This will allow staff to conduct an evaluation of yellow-light timing at selected intersections, potential impact of any new yellow-light timing standards at the state level, yellow-light timing effect on driver behavior, red-light violation rates, revenue changes, and effect on intersection operation, coordination and traffic flow,” according to staff reports.
Santa Clarita staffers are expected to report findings within 12 months, to determine if the cameras are effective in the city’s goal, improving and enhancing road safety, officials said.
In December 2008, the City Council approved a five-year contract renewal and authorized the city manager to execute up to two two-year options.
During their Feb. 5 meeting, City Council directed the City Manager to bring the contract renewal before the City Council.
The 5-0 vote came after a lenghty and, at times, heated discussion over billboards.
As it was City Councilman Frank Ferry’s last meeting, and he has had several protracted, public disagreements with Councilman TimBen Boydston, the unanimity brought Boydston to point out, “See? I don’t think everything you do is wrong,” which prompted a smile from Ferry.
Ferry’s seat is up for election April 8, and last year, he announced he would not seek a fifth term.
The cameras started operation in July 2004 at the intersections of Soledad Canyon Road/Whites Canyon Road, Bouquet Canyon Road/Seco Canyon Road, McBean Parkway/Magic Mountain Parkway, McBean Parkway/Newhall Ranch Road, and Lyons Avenue/Orchard Village Road. The program was expanded in August 2006 to include two additional intersections at Valencia Boulevard/McBean Parkway and Bouquet Canyon Road/Newhall Ranch Road.
There are approximately 550 red-light violations per month at the seven red-light camera intersections.
The city of Santa Clarita provided the following breakdown of costs and expenditures for red light cameras:
Redflex Services $467,147
Redflex Camera Data Communications $ 8,975
Attorney Costs/Accurint (Records Search Service) $ 11,074
Sheriff Personnel: Processing/Court Appearances$ 95,041
Average Yearly Expenditure for Program $582,237
Average Yearly Revenue $674,790
Average Yearly Net Revenue $ 92,553
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Source: Santa Clarita News