101117-adh-nws-Geary Red Light Cameras-my

Vehicles move through the intersection of Albany's only red light cameras at Queen and Geary.

Mark Ylen, Democrat-Herald

A new law that lets municipalities use red-light cameras to also catch speeders will not affect Albany drivers, at least for now, according to city officials.

House Bill 2409, which went into effect Oct. 5, lets cities use their existing red-light cameras, designed to photo-capture drivers who run red or yellow lights, to also cite drivers for speeding.

If enacted, speeders exceeding 11 miles over the speed limit would be cited, and red-light runners traveling 21 miles over would receive a bonus ticket on top of the red-light violation. But to do that, some cities would have to upgrade the systems, which means having speed sensors installed in the pavement at the intersection.

Albany's only red-light camera, located at Queen Avenue and Geary Street, does not have the sensors installed, and the city does not have plans to upgrade it.

Albany Police Chief Mario Lattanzio said the intersection is not known for speeders, and Albany Police Capt. Jeff Hinrichs added that the chief safety concern at the intersection is for drivers running red lights.

However, if the city decided to add the speeding option, it would be a matter of having Redflex, the company that administers the red-light cameras, come out and install the speed sensors at no cost.

"It's in their contract," said Lattanzio. 

Heinrich said it is still possible for the city to opt in, but he does not see it happening anytime soon.

The Albany City Council voted in April 2016 to extend the contract for its current traffic light camera enforcement system for another seven years. The system became operational in September 2006.

The system photographs and captures video of red-light runners, which are reviewed by Albany Police Department officers to determine whether the violation is legitimate. The fine for running a red light at the intersection is $260, of which Redflex gets about $60.

Contact reporter Neil Zawicki at 541-812-6099 or neil.zawicki@lee.net

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