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Budget Problems May Halt New Red Light Cameras In Norfolk

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After the City Council approved the installation of four red light cameras throughout Norfolk, Virginia, last year, new budget concerns have halted the project as well as a possible future project that would result in a total of eight red light cameras in town.

Last December, City officials agreed that the cameras would improve Norfolk by holding drivers accountable for running red lights, reduce the number of serious accidents at dangerous intersections, and help car accident investigators ascertain how accidents occurred. The light would be installed in the following place, which were chosen for their high rate of accidents and incidents:

•    Hampton Boulevard and Terminal Boulevard
•    Chesapeake Boulevard and Little Creek Road
•    West Brambleton and Colley Avenue
•    Virginia Beach Boulevard and Raby Road

However, the red light cameras are expensive – four every eight cameras that the city has, two police officers are required to care for the cameras, watch hours of tape, and issue tickets. Currently, Norfolk would need $146,000 a year to maintain the cameras and ticketing process after the cost of equipment and installation.

Do red light cameras help stop car accidents? While some studies have found that the cameras actually increase the number of minor rear-end accidents, they have been found to reduce the number of fatal or serious car accidents. In addition, the cameras have more than once explained the cause of a serious car accident after it had taken place.

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