HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Red Light Safety Cameras are working. That’s according to Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen.
Sniffen said they are seeing fewer people running red lights at intersections with the cameras.
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“Our daily numbers on average are lower than the baselines we had before,” Sniffen said.
That as the red light safety camera pilot project, implemented to stop people from running red lights, nears the six month mark.
“Considering this the citations weekly to what we had before, we do see a drastic reduction daily in the number of red light runners,” Sniffen explained.
Looking at data from four locations where people run the red most frequently,
It’s clear just how much its decreased. Piikoi and South Beretania streets show the sharpest decline. Before the project, there were an average 110 people running a red light every day.
Now that the cameras are installed and they’re issuing citations, an average 14 people run the red per day.
Even with the numbers going down, some drivers are still shocked to hear how often it happens knowing the implications and what that could mean at busy intersections like Likelike Highway and School Street where 289 citations were mailed out in just 10 days.
Clayton Leong, Kaneohe resident Clayton Leong said he drives through that intersection often and can’t believe how many people go through the red there.
“Wow,” said Leong. “Gee, I didn’t think it was that much.”
Others, like Kalihi resident Siaosi Pasina, said he wasn’t surprised because its always busy this side “>
According to Sniffen, locations like this are problematic.
“What we see is people coming off of, or jumping onto, high speed facilities into that stoplight, it will always be in area where red light running.”
He said that’s why citations cost $200, and go to the owner of the car –not the driver.
“Even when you pay for it, this is a warning for you and hopefully everybody takes it that if you got the citation it’s a warning to stop the behavior so everybody can stay safe,” Sniffen said.
Representative Jon Mizuno, who represents the area said cars are still speeding and he thinks it may take time for some people to stop unsafe driving habits.
“But for the average person, yes, after the third or fourth ticket when you’re getting close to a thousand dollars in fines I think you’re going to get the message,” Mizuno said.
“At the end of the day this is a deterrent its for public safety and i support it,” he added.
Sniffen said he’s received only positive feedback about the project.
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After the first year, he said, they’ll have enough data to determine if the project should be implemented on a permanent basis and expanded.