Video helps BPD catch drivers running red lights

July 31, 2013 

— The Boise Police Department is using handheld video cameras as a new strategy to nab red light runners.

Officers tape cars driving through intersections after the stoplight turns, then radio a description to another officer out of sight. The second officer makes the traffic stop to write the violator a $90 ticket.

The new system is already in place, and more than a dozen drivers caught on the tape have received citations, police said.

Boise Police Chief Michael Masterson said the videos were intended as a traffic safety tool. Often, drivers think the light is still yellow when they pass through the intersection, he said.

"Running red lights is dangerous and using video will be a powerful prevention tool as well as enforcement strategy," Masterson said. "The examples of the violations we've caught on video send an important message to every driver out there; be observant of traffic lights and don’t risk injury to yourself, your family or others.”

Although only 6 percent of crashes stem from a driver running a red light, injuries can be more serious in this type of crash, due to the broadside collision, police said.

BPD officers wrote about 700 tickets for running red lights last year. The video enforcement is currently focused on intersections where most red light runners are reported, but police say they will add locations based on citizen input.

Residents who want to see video enforcement in their area can send intersection suggestions to police@cityofboise.com.

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