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Red light cam may not shoot

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May 19, 2006

Albany -- A year ago, Albany commissioners approved installing a camera that takes pictures of cars that speed through red lights at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Pine Avenue. But the cameras still haven't been installed, and might not go up at all.

City Manager Alfred Lott says a lack of police officers would make it hard to administer tickets to violators. The intersection was chosen because of its high number of crashes, and lot says police are monitoring the area more.

The $148,000 camera system was paid for with a DOT grant, which mandated the money made from fines couldn't be used to hire staff.

"In most state you can use the proceeds from the fines to support the administration of it," Lott said. "So you can hire someone else to help you do this. But it's my understanding that Georgia law doesn't allow that. I can only use the proceed to pay parts of the administration, but not the entire person."

The city would have to give back the DOT money if the cameras aren't used, but Lott says they plan to ask the DOT for a grant extension.

Some drivers say it's hard to avoid running red lights at the Jefferson-Pine intersection when you're turning because there's no turn light. Lott says the traffic department is looking into adding a turn light.

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