For nearly two years Intersection Safety Cameras, known as Red Light Cameras, have been snapping photos of red light runners in Gulfport. According police officials, they're helping decrease injury crashes in the city.
During Tuesday night's city council meeting Gulfport Police Lt. Josh Stone presented an analysis of the program and data that shows injury crashes are down 53.3% from 2010.
Traffic Crash Analysis
Citywide Total Crashes
- April - Oct. 2010 Total Crashes = 95
- April - Oct. 2011 Total Crashes = 70
- April - Oct. 2012 Total Crashes = 77
Overall Total Crash Decrease of 18.4%
"Although we went up 7 from last year, we've still seen overall total crashes decrease 18.4 percent," Lt. Josh Stone said during the presentation.
Citywide Total Injury Crashes
- April - Oct. 2010 Total Crashes = 30
- April - Oct. 2011 Total Crashes = 16
- April - Oct. 2012 Total Crashes = 14
Overall Injury Crash Decrease of 53.3%
"The goal was to decrease overall crashes . . . and decrease injury crashes. Now, when you look at the overall stat, you can say well, maybe, maybe not, but when you look at the injury crashes, I think there's a correlation between having the red light cameras in place and the reduction of injury crashes. That's my opinion. That's based on the data that I see," Stone said.
During the meeting Council member Dan Liedtke asked if the data could be more specific such as how many crashes were non-moving incidents - like backing into a trash can or telephone pole. He also asked if there was any data regarding a decrease in "T-bone" crashes. Lt. Stone told council that they did not have that specific information.
Notice of Violations Issued
During the fiscal year of October 2011 to September 2012, the _Gulfport Police Department_ issued 3,501 Notices of Violation. The violation is a $158 fine and is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
According to Stone, of those mailed to vehicle owners, 2,257 - 64% - were paid upon receiving the first notice.
- 1,288 violations = 49th St. & 15th Ave
- 819 violations = 49th St. & Gulfport Blvd S.
- 1,394 violations = 58th St. & Gulfport Blvd S.
Lt. Stone added that the majority of violators are going straight through the intersections.
Also, between 2011 and 2012, the number of violations decreased.
"I would assume that it has something to do with awareness that people now know that there are red light cameras in Gulfport and a lot of places in the county and now people are more cautious."
Gulfport Mayor Mike Yakes responded to the data stating that the numbers are impressive and as a result of the red light camera program in Gulfport, injuries are being reduced.
"I believe that it is successful," Yakes said.
Locations of Red Light Cameras
The intersection safety cameras were placed at the following intersections in February 2011:
- West Bound on Gulfport Blvd. S. & 58th St S.
- South Bound on 49th St. & 15th Ave S.
- East Bound on Gulfport Blvd. S. & 49th St. S.
Editor's Note: Gulfport Patch attached the powerpoint presentation from Tuesday night's meeting on this article.