Thousands of drivers passing through Kingsport may have seen the flash of a red light camera behind them but never received a citation.
According to the Kingsport Police Department's annual report, only 16,238 citations were mailed in 2008 out of a possible 24,357 red light violations captured by Redflex Traffic Systems equipment.
Factors such as license plate obstructions, sun glare, multiple vehicles in the same frame, safe turns on red, and weather conditions led to 6,243 citations being discarded. Officers reviewed the remaining 18,114 and dismissed another 1,876 for similar reasons.
The city received $217,900 net from the citations that were prosecuted, according to city officials. Redflex got $487,900.
The money goes toward the pay of officers who review the violations and records clerks who process the fines as well as toward Redflex fees.
"After personal services and other expenses the remaining balance goes into a police technology fund to help pay for capital equipment such as PDAs," city spokesman Tim Whaley said.
The current contract has allowed for the installation of 10 cameras at red lights across the Model City. The contract, Whaley said, expires Dec. 27. Seven were installed in 2007, and the last three cameras went online in the first quarter of 2008.
Most of the violations (2,960) were captured by the camera at Fort Henry Drive and Lebanon Road, with the second highest violation count on Stone Drive at the Clinchfield Street (2,579).
The eastbound camera on Stone Drive at New Beason Well Road documented 2,068 violations. The camera for the westbound lane clicked on another 1,356 violations there.
On Stone Drive at the Eastman Road intersection, the tally for the westbound lane was higher with 1,996 violations. The eastbound camera documented just 731.
The total violations prosecuted at the remaining intersections were as follows:
1,554 on Stone Drive at Union Street
1,385 on Fort Henry Drive at Moreland Drive
1,276 on Lynn Garden Drive at Carters Valley Road
333 on John B. Dennis Highway at Wilcox Drive
There currently are no plans to install any additional cameras or to use the speed function on existing Redflex cameras, Whaley said.
The possibility of bidding for new contracts currently is being evaluated.
For a file video report showing how police review violations, CLICK THE BOX BELOW.