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Our Times / Orange County Communities

San Juan Capistrano

March 08, 2000|Kenneth Ma, (949) 248-2157

A week's worth of camera surveillance has netted 14 drivers who ran the red light at Del Obispo Street and Ortega Highway.

The cameras at the busy intersection were turned on March 1. However, for the first month of operation, only warnings will be issued.

Most of the motorists caught don't live in the city.

"They may have been unaware of San Juan Capistrano's speed limits or they were not paying attention," Sheriff's Deputy Rich Himmel said.

City Engineer Bill Huber said the warning period will last at least 30 days but may be extended. Traffic tickets will be issued after that.

The City Council approved the cameras last year, citing the need to reduce accidents. In the past five years, there have been 118 accidents at city intersections; in the past year, there have been 333 red-light violations, according to Sheriff's Department statistics.

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