PASCO, WA - Starting Tuesday, April 16, drivers who run red lights at Road 68 and Burden Blvd or 20th and Court in Pasco run the risk of receiving a letter in the mail. For the next 30 days, that will be a written warning, but after that, it can be a $125 traffic infraction sent to the vehicle’s registered owner.
The Pasco Police Department recommended this system to the City Council because increased traffic enforcement is always high on the resident surveys about public services. Red-light runners can be difficult for officers in cars to catch at the busy major intersections because an officer has to be in a position to observe the violator’s traffic light, and still be able to pull out and catch the violator. Officers can rely on witness statements when a collision is involved, but collisions are what PPD is trying to prevent.
The City of Pasco is using Redflex Traffic Systems equipment. The cameras record video and high-res images of vehicles that enter the intersection after the red light is activated. Redflex will identify those events and send the recordings to Pasco PD, where they will be reviewed by trained officers. If the officer makes the decision that a red-light violation took place, the vehicle’s registered owner receives the notification in the mail. As already stated, for 30 days after the April 16 starting date, that notification will be just a warning.
“This warning period gives drivers in Pasco time to adjust to the program," said Pasco Sergeant Scott Warren. "Our goal is to reduce red-light running that leads to crashes and untimely deaths, so we want residents to be aware of the deterrent and modify their driving behaviors."
The notified vehicle owners will have the opportunity to review the images and video, and the ability to contest the fine, before payment. The infraction operates like a parking ticket; it does not attach to any individual’s driving record. Pasco PD does not receive images and video of non-offending vehicles, only of vehicles that enter the intersection after the red light activates.