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Police: Nearly 90% Of Red Light Runners Don’t Re-Offend

Brett Blume
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  New figures released by the city of St. Louis suggest that people who get caught running red lights learn their lesson.

Numbers compiled over the five years that the program has been in place locally show that 88.5% of drivers who receive red light tickets in the mail are one-time-only offenders.

Add to that the 9.5% that receive two tickets and that’s a whopping 98% who quit running lights after getting two or fewer tickets.

And that, says St. Louis Director of Operations Captain Sam Dotson, is the main goal of the red light camera program.

“Red light camera systems, photo-enforcement systems, are designed to change behavior,” he tells KMOX News. “And in ninety-eight percent of the time, it looks like we are changing behavior.”

There are currently more than fifty intersections throughout the city that are monitored by red light camera systems, and the city’s looking to expand that number.

“Absolutely,” Dotson says. “I think that if you see these types of results and we continue to change behaviors, ultimately the goal is to make the roads safer and keep accidents from happening.”

He says another positive side-effect is that it makes the city police department more efficient.

“It allows our police officers to focus on other activities and not on writing tickets,” he explains.

Of course, there are those who don’t seem to be getting the message.

Somewhere out there, nine drivers have received 10 or more red light tickets so far.

In all, the system has rung up more than two-hundred-seventeen thousand red light runners.

Whether people who receive those tickets in the mail are actually paying them is a whole different matter — Capt. Dotson says their study didn’t focus on that aspect.

Some have challenged the red light camera system on legal grounds, and refuse to mail in their payments.

KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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