Contact: Mayor Darwin Hindman - (573) 449-5227, (573) 864-7894, (573) 874-7222; or Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine - (573) 874-7721; or
Communications Director Toni Messina - (573) 874-7660
COLUMBIA, MO (August 27, 2009) - After 30 days of operation and warnings to red light runners at two major intersections, the city of Columbia will start enforcing violations with traffic tickets on Sept. 4. Cameras are positioned in the northbound lanes at the intersections of Providence Road at Broadway and at Stadium Boulevard and Worley Street.
A public event is set for 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4, to raise awareness of active enforcement. Invited speakers include Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman; Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn; Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton; and Andrew Noble, president of Gatso, USA, the company that manufactures and installs the camera system.
The event will be held at the parking lot in the northeast corner of the Providence Road and Broadway intersection.
“Our first weeks of operating the red light cameras have been very eye-opening,” said Mayor Darwin Hindman. “So far, 137 warning notices have been issued to drivers running red lights at both intersections. It just underlines the problem we have in Columbia. We’re hopeful that drivers will start paying more attention, now that tickets are being issued to violators.”
Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine confirmed that violations appear to be increasing, possibly associated with Columbia’s returning student population. “On August 7, six red light runners were captured on video. That’s for both camera-enforced intersections. From August 20-23, the cameras captured 60 violators at both intersections,” St. Romaine said.
Gatso USA is evaluating more intersections for the next camera placements. The city expects to install a total of 16 cameras in the coming months.
The city’s public education campaign started in early August and will continue 30 days after enforcement starts, according to St. Romaine. “We want the public to be fully aware that cameras are in use. Great coverage by local news media, combined with paid ads and messages issued through other outlets, has kept this issue on people’s minds.”
A red light runner faces a $120 fine if the violation does not involve an accident, the driver pleads guilty and pays the fine through the city’s Traffic Violations Bureau. Otherwise, the Municipal Court may punish a red light violation by a fine from $1 - $500; by up to three months’ imprisonment; or by a fine and imprisonment. The penalty applies whether the violation is identified at a camera-enforced intersection or by a Columbia police officer at the scene.
For more information, visit www.GoColumbiaMo.com and click on the “Respect the Red” logo.