Proposed Red Light Cameras In Abington Get Mixed Reviews

Proposed Red Light Cameras In Abington Get Mixed Reviews

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It's not Roosevelt Boulevard, but Abington Township officials say that Old York Road can be a dangerous place to drive. Starting in a few months, red light cameras will be at two intersections there.

"We need to do this because we need to take the extra step for public safety," said Peggy Myers, the president of the Township Commission. "Running that red light just seems to become a real problem."

There were 110 accidents at Old York and Susquehanna Roads last year, 41 at Old York and Old Welsh Roads and another 35 at Moreland and Fitzwatertown.

The contract for the red light cameras was awarded last week. The township commission gave the green light to the cameras by a 14 to one vote. Abington is the first suburban town to move ahead with the plan. Twelve other towns are eligible to implement red light cameras with PennDOT approval.

Commissioner Steven Kline opposed the plan.

"There's an increase in rear end crashes, there's also potential for unknowns in the way violations are handed out. People have to fight them. It's a lot more time," Kline told FOX 29.

"I like it," said local driver Bob Stewart.

However, drivers who use those intersections gave mixed reviews to the red light camera plan.

"I think Roosevelt Boulevard is one thing, but I don't think Old York Road compares to that," driver Carol Newburger told FOX 29.

"We almost got broadsided twice," Stewart said. "It's bad at these intersections. People are too busy talking on their cell phones, they're not paying attention to traffic lights."

Another driver told us, "Not a fan. Put me down as not a fan."

Police will review alleged violations before issuing the $100 ticket. Drivers don't get any points assessed to their driving record and they can appeal the ticket in court. According to township officials, this is not a money maker for the town. Any excess money goes to PennDOT.

"The money doesn't even go to the township. I don't think it's a good idea," another driver said.

"A little warning send them, straighten them out, maybe less accidents and people getting hurt," Stewart said.

The township will try this for a year, then re-evaluate it and decide whether to continue.

Red light cameras sparked controversy in New Jersey. The cameras resulted in a class action lawsuit and a $4 million settlement for drivers.

The cameras in Abington will go in late this year or early next. There will be a 60-day warning period before any tickets are actually issued.

Several other local towns are now considering the installation of red light cameras.

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