VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — New red light cameras went live Monday at a major intersection in Virginia Beach.
The city turned on red light cameras at the intersection of Independence Boulevard and Virginia Beach Boulevard. City officials say the new cameras will reduce red light running and crashes from dangerous behavior.
“I think it’s a great idea,”driver Ernesta Obrien said. “It keeps drivers honest. I think it’s for the community’s safety.”
Since 2009, the city has installed more than 20 cameras at 13 major intersections across Virginia Beach. Police have issued well over 260,000 tickets throughout those years. According to a city audit from 2015, the cameras have brought in millions of dollars in revenue for the city from fines.
A city study released in 2015 says crashes at intersections with red light cameras dropped 12 percent in the first three years.
“If it avoids accidents, I think it’s worth it. What do you save from running red lights, like seconds, maybe a minute and you get in a car accident, you know. You’re lucky if you’re not injured, ” Obrien said.
In the coming weeks, cameras will also go live at Lynnhaven Parkway at Rosemont Road, both eastbound and westbound.
Driver Kurtis Sozcka says he doesn’t like the idea of getting a ticket without a police officer present.
“I’m not a big fan of automated ticket systems, so I think it’s pretty rough,” Sozcka said. “It’s kind of weird getting a ticket without anyone actually handing you a ticket.”
For 30 days, police will give drivers a warning if they’re caught on the new cameras running a red light. After that, police will send you a $50 fine.
Police say if the driver receives a ticket, he or she can dispute the violation.