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Our Times: Orange County Communities

Irvine

March 10, 2000|Kristiane M. Ridgway, (949) 764-4309

Red-light runners, beware: The city soon will be using cameras to keep an eye on problem intersections.

Plans were to begin using the mechanical eyes today, but recent rains and other problems delayed the start until April 1.

The cameras will be used on westbound Alton at Muirlands and Gateway boulevards, which police say are two of the city's most hazardous intersections.

The pilot program, one of the first in Orange County, is aimed at helping Irvine police ticket red-light violators. In 1998, red-light violations accounted for 25% of Irvine's fatal crashes and 1,323 of the city's accidents, while the national average for red-light fatalities is 2.5%, Irvine Sgt. Denny Jenner said.

The cameras--one digital, the other video--will photograph the drivers, and front and rear license plates of cars that enter the intersection after a traffic signal has turned red. Police will identify drivers using DMV records and issue violators $271 fines through the mail. Warnings, rather than fines, will be sent out for the first month only.

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