Beaverton will use red light cameras to catch speeders

Starting Saturday, Sept. 15, cameras will issue warning tickets for 30 days. (KATU Photo)

Starting Saturday, red light cameras in Beaverton will be doing more than just catching red light runners, they'll be checking for speed as well.

Beaverton City Council approved the photo enforcement technology earlier this year and signed a contract with a new vendor, Conduent.

For a 30-day period, between Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the cameras will issue speed violation warnings at all four photo enforcement intersections.

Those intersections include:

SW Walker Rd. & SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy. & SW Griffith Dr.
SW Allen Blvd & SW Lombard Ave.
SW Scholls Ferry Rd. & SW Hall Blvd.

On Oct. 16, only the intersection at Southwest Walker Road and Southwest Cedar Hills Boulevard will ticket speeders, with the other three intersections being phased in over a six-month period.

A Beaverton police officer will review the captured data for accuracy. Once verified, the officer will electronically issue the citation and it will be mailed to the driver.

"What we’re trying to do was slow those folks down," Beaverton Officer Jeremy Shaw told KATU. "We want people to go the speed limit. We know the dangers of speeding."

Shaw pointed to statistics. Over a year long period, between May 2015 and May 2016, more than 94,000 drivers were traveling 11 mph or more above the speed limit through those intersections, according to officers.

"If you’re going 30 mph, there’s a 40-percent chance that a pedestrian is going to be severely injured or killed," Shaw said. "We know if you increase the speed to 40 mph, just 10 miles over, the likelihood of that pedestrian being injured or killed is 80 percent."

Red light cameras have been considered controversial. Seven states have banned the technology.

Oregon lawmakers amended legislation last year allowing red light cameras to issue tickets for a second violation.

"I haven’t been caught, but I don’t challenge it," said driver Ken Ettinger. "I think people would be going crazy if they weren’t cracking down on us."

Another driver said her dad has received a red-light photo ticket in Beaverton. It's changed his habits.

"He got a ticket," Lucy Edwards said, "and now he is always real slow in this light."

Shaw says he believes they will have a positive impact.

"We know that a citation is an effective way to change people’s behavior; unfortunately, sometimes that has to happen," Shaw said. "We want them to go the speed limit. We want them to drive with care and safety for everybody else on the road."

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