Kingsport installs two new red light cameras

Matthew Lane • Feb 28, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Two new red light cameras have been installed at the intersection of East Stone Drive, New Beason Well Road and Cleek Road, but they aren’t yet operational, according to Kingsport police.

Two cameras have been installed at the intersection to observe both eastbound and westbound traffic along East Stone Drive.

Kingsport Police Department Sgt. Joe Earls said the department does not know when the cameras will go live, but when they do there will not be a grace period like there was when the initial seven cameras were installed last year.

Earls said Redflex Traffic Systems — the Arizona-based company that installed the cameras — is having some trouble with some cameras in Knoxville and has not given the city a date when the cameras would go live.

Although the New Beason Well intersection did not have as many red light violations as other intersections, Earls said it did have a number of fatalities, which warranted the new cameras.

The city of Kingsport entered into a contract with Redflex in November 2006 to establish red light cameras at some of the city’s most dangerous intersections in an attempt to get people to stop running red lights and to reduce the number of fatal accidents at these intersections.

Cameras were installed at seven approaches at six intersections and went live May 1, 2007. The intersections include Fort Henry Drive and Lebanon Road, John B. Dennis Highway and Wilcox Drive, Lynn Garden Drive and Carters Valley Road, Stone Drive and Clinchfield Street, Stone Drive and Eastman Road, and Stone Drive and Union Street.

According to KPD accident data, rear-end crashes increased from 2006 to 2007 at the first six intersections with red light cameras. However, T-bone and right-angle crashes dropped at five of the intersections during the same period.

In September, KPD officials announced the department was working with Redflex to determine if additional cameras were needed at other intersections where a significant number of traffic crashes occur.

Redflex set up portable cameras for 24 hours at the following intersections — Fort Henry Drive and Moreland Drive, East Stone Drive and New Beason Well Road, West Stone Drive and Netherland Inn Road, and Wilcox Drive and Meadowview Parkway.

Redflex also set up temporary cameras at new approaches where red light cameras are already installed — eastbound at Stone Drive and Clinchfield, and westbound at Stone Drive and Union.

A new camera was installed earlier this year at the intersection of Moreland and Fort Henry.

The $100 fine for running a red light is a major complaint from residents and violators, with some suggesting the city installed the cameras simply to bring in more money to the city’s coffers. KPD and city officials have repeatedly said the reason for the red light cameras is to help reduce fatal accidents at various city intersections.

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