Cameras at intersections have plenty of detractors, many of whom claim their usage is more about revenue enhancement than safety. Now, a Complete Colorado report offers some numbers to back up this theory. On one day, 94 percent of tickets issued at a major metro intersection targeted cars in the right lane -- most of which likely crossed the stop line to turn right on red.
Several local TV stations have done traffic-camera-related stories in recent months -- and a Fox31 piece from April that questioned how cameras are deployed so irritated the Denver Police Department that it asked Twitter followers to compare its fairness to a less inflammatory 9News piece that ran last month. (The 9News item was deemed more evenhanded, but just as many people didn't care about the issue.) In addition, CBS4 recently offered an item suggesting that a large number of traffic-camera tickets are issued to vehicles that go over the white line but stop rather than actually running a red.
Against this backdrop, Complete Colorado's Todd Shepherd requested all the tickets issued at 36th and Quebec for a single day. Of the 51 written during that time period, 48 of them -- or approximately 94 percent -- involved cars in the right-hand lane.
This results didn't thrill Denver City Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz, who told Shepherd, "It disturbs me that a significant number of the tickets appear to be related to right-on-red turns, where no one's safety is in question. I have always believed photo red-light tickets shouldn't be issued if an on-site officer, exercising his lawful discretion, wouldn't have written a ticket. Citations like this cause citizens to question whether government programs have any correlation with common sense."
Read the entire report, and look below to see the aforementioned CBS4 piece.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.