Greenville police address red light camera concerns

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It’s been a week since Greenville police launched its red light camera program. The program is still in its warning period and is causing confusion for some drivers.

“One of the main questions we got is they are either going through a yellow light or a green light and they’ve noticed the cameras flashing,” said Officer Pat O’Callaghan, who heads the red light camera program.

He said there are a lot of factors that cause the lights to go off.

“If they are in the left turn lane and this light is still red, it is still photographing every right turn on red,” said O’Callaghan.

O’Callaghan said that is because they are collecting statistics as to whether that should be enforced.

While the probation period is ongoing, no one will get billed, but there is one way the cameras detect a violator.

“There is a stop bar at almost every intersection,” said O’Callaghan. “And the way the cameras are set up, if you are on the correct side of the intersection, and the light turns red, our chief has allowed a .3 second gap to say it’s a violation.”

That means this driver, although in the middle of the intersection while it’s red, will not see a ticket because they were already over the line when it turned red.

Officer O’Calaghan understands there is an adjustment period; however, he said he believes it is for the greater good of everyone.

“Somebody asked me, what do hope the red lights accomplish,” said O’Calaghan. “I said make my life easy cause I come in one day and there is no violation. I said that means we’ve done the right thing.”

The cameras have been installed at the following five intersections:

Charles Boulevard and 14th Street
Charles Boulevard and Fire Tower Road
Arlington Boulevard and Fire Tower Road
Arlington Boulevard and Greenville Boulevard
Arlington Boulevard and South Memorial Drive

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