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Red-light runners can now be ticketed by cameras in Oregon

Beware, drivers. You could be getting tickets and not even know.

Oregon has begun utilizing cameras at intersections to catch unsafe driving behaviors and to specifically ticket drivers that run red lights.

The installations of such cameras are to promote traffic and pedestrian safety.

KVAL reports that even if the light is green the cameras will be watching. Portland, Salem and Albany and a few other cities already have those cameras in place; however, Eugene and Springfield do not.

Eugene has not yet completely ruled out the possibility of installing these traffic cameras.

Matt Rodrigues, a traffic engineer with the City of Eugene, commented, “Where we have a problem with crashes related to that, related to people driving through red lights and people speeding.”

The cost of such a system is not known to Rodrigues at this time, but he claims that in many cases the cost is covered by the company that would install the cameras.

“They’ve been able to reduce high-end speeding, which is people going 10 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit, by 90 percent,” Rodrigues explained.

On the contrary Lt. Scott McKee, with the Springfield Police, explained, “Traffic cameras and that sort of surveillance is not popular with the public.” McKee said Springfield Police is not opposed to this new technology, but they think “old school” methods still work best.

“We deploy our staff to those areas and do actual traffic enforcement,” he said.

He also claims that if tickets are mailed to people’s houses long after the traffic offense, it does not allow officers to use “essential discretion.”

This means that officers cannot determine the context or circumstance of the traffic offense.

A proposal titled Vision Zero has been submitted to the Eugene City Council advocating for the installation of traffic cameras throughout Eugene.

If the proposal is approved, the cameras are planned to be up and running within 2 years.