Morristown speed cameras to begin issuing warning citations

Posted on Monday, July 7, 2014 at 11:48 am

A new traffic camera is situated near Wilson Hale Road and the Buffalo Trail Western Wear Store on 25E.

A new traffic camera is situated near Wilson Hale Road and the Buffalo Trail Western Wear Store on 25E.

Four relocated ticket-issuing traffic cameras – two apiece on Highway 25E and Highway 160 in Morristown – will begin identifying speeding motorists on Tuesday, according to the Morristown Police Department.

Officers will approve warning citations for a two-week period. Citations approved after the grace period expires on July 21 will carry a $50 fine.

The police department indicated officers will not be “fine-lining” motorists. The enforcement systems will issue citations only to those driving more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, according to the police department.

The police department indicated in a press release the four automated enforcement systems are being installed to reduce the number of fatalities and serious crashes inside the city limits.

Ten people died in Morristown crashes in 2013.

“All law enforcement should honor the oath to protect life even when the best way of doing so is not popular,” the press release states. Both local and national statistics have shown that the use of automated safety enforcement systems reduces crashes and allows for redeployment of police resources.

“While some individuals have indicated they are against the (cameras), the Morristown Police Department believes that one life saved is worth the fight,” the press release further states.

A state law sponsored by Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Hamblen County, makes it illegal for Redflex – the company that installed the cameras and collects the fines – to report nonpayment to a credit bureau.

Morristown City Council members Dennis Alvis and Chris Bivens voted against relocating the cameras from two entrances to the Crockett Square shopping center on Highway 25E.

Redflex shares ticket revenues with Morristown based on graduated formula. MPD members view tape to verify or disqualify a potential citation, but city government is not involved in collections.

The two former traffic cameras on Highway 25E, by far, generated the most revenue for Redflex and city government. Before they were removed, city government’s annual take topped $600,000.

Larry Clark, city administrative services director, said earlier that revenues dropped by more than 50 percent after the cameras were removed from the former Crockett Square traffic signals.

-From Staff Reports

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