Spokane expanding Photo Red program

Nearly a year-and-a-half after Spokane began its Photo Red program the system is expanding with more red light cameras to be installed at four additional intersections.

The City of Spokane has already begun working to install the new red light cameras at 2nd and Thor, 3rd and Freya, Division and Sprague and Ash and Wellesley. The installation of the camera at 2nd and Thor should come as no surprise; in early 2009 it was named the most dangerous intersection in Spokane.

Starting March 1st they will start a trial period where everything will be up and running but no tickets issued. Then beginning on April 1st if you blow through a red light at any of the four new intersections you?ll get a ticket in the mail.

The first of the city?s red light cameras ? located at Francis and Division, Sprague and Browne and Hamilton and Mission ? were installed in November of 2008. Since then the city’s issued approximately 6,000 tickets to red light runners.

Those red light tickets have netted the city around $150,000. At present if you get caught running a red light you could face a $124 ticket. There is legislation under consideration in Olympia that would cap the fine at $42 a ticket.

While about 6,000 people have gotten tickets from Spokane?s Photo Red program, statistics show that the number of accidents have not decreased since the first cameras were installed. Members of the Spokane Police Department said however that you can?t judge the effectiveness of the cameras just by statistical data alone.

Among other things to consider are the ?severity of crashes, how many people went to the hospital, how many people had minor versus serious or possible injuries,? Spokane Police Officer Teresa Fuller said.

Fuller added that it?s too soon to call the Photo Red program a failure.

?We really need a lot more data, this program is in its infancy, and we really need another year of data to take at look at the stats and see whether or not the program is effective,? Fuller said.