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    Red Light Cams @ Bellflower/Willow & LB Blvd/Anaheim Being Upgraded w/ High Resolution & Progressive Scan Cameras

    Red light cam Bellflower/Willow May 2004(May 11, 2004) -- The "red light camera" systems at Bellflower/Willow and LB Blvd/Anaheim are being upgraded with new, higher tech cameras that will produce higher resolution and progressive scan (oncoming vehicle) images.

    LBPD Public Information Officer Greg Schirmer says upgrades (seen here at Bellflower/Willow) include higher resolution cameras with more pixels and progressive scan images that lend themselves to better identification of vehicles and their occupants.

    Red Light Cam Bellflower/Willow May 2004LBPD Detective David Lauro says the upgrades are housed in a white barrel-like device mounted on a side pole...

    Red Light Cam Bellflower/Willow May 2004...and in the camera mounted in the dome-looking structure on the pylon above the street.

    Red light cam Bellflower/Willow May 2004.The upgrades also allow for combining some of the lights and equipment in one place.

    Det. Lauro said the upgrade cost is being borne by Nestor Traffic Systems, a private firm which provides the red light cams under contract with City Hall (which entitles LB to technology upgrades as they occur). The Rhode-Island based firm, whose sole business is providing automated red light enforcement systems, lists LB on its web site along with the cities of Cerritos, Costa Mesa, Fresno, Fullerton, Irvine, Montclair, Pasadena and Rancho Cucamonga as using its system.

    The City Council approved installation of red light cameras at LB intersections several years ago amid criticism that it was more a revenue generator than a safety measure and carried "Big Brother" implications. Det. Lauro said there's been approximately a 35% reduction in accidents at three red light cam intersections tracked thus far (a composite from Redondo/7th, Bellflower/Willow and Cherry/Artesia). Two other red light camera intersections (LB Blvd/Anaheim and LB/Wardlow) came online more recently toward the end of 2003. [An April 2003 Press-Telegram report (not affiliated with indicated at that time that accident reduction results were mixed.]

    Nestor's web site says its CrossingGuardŽ system "combines advanced video-detection technology with roadside video cameras to provide intersection monitoring for red light violation enforcement and improved intersection safety. This digital video solution is more effective, more efficient, and provides much more functionality than traditional still-image systems." It adds:

    CrossingGuard provides automated enforcement by capturing multiple high-resolution video clips of the red light violation. Images of the front and rear license plates, driver image, and surrounding conditions (i.e. vehicle approach, driver behavior, signal occlusion, etc.) are automatically converted to digital format and transmitted via telephone line to the enforcement agency. This direct communication from the intersection eliminates the additional film retrieval and processing steps required by wet-film systems, reduces the risk of data corruption, and minimizes citation turnaround time.

    Violation verification is simplified with CrossingGuard's "playback" software that allows officials to view the captured video sequences, showing the full violation as well as the color close-up images of the vehicle. The comprehensive data provided enables officials to verify and issue a higher number of citations and maintain more than enough evidence to defend a violation, if challenged.

    Additionally, CrossingGuard can also help to reduce the risk of intersection crashes associated with red light running. Through its advanced video detection technology, CrossingGuard is able to track approaching traffic to predict whether or not a driver will stop for the red light. If the system predicts that the vehicle will not stop, the system begins recording the violation, and it sends a message to the signal light controller to briefly extend the red light for crossing traffic. The violation is captured on video and a collision can be avoided.

    CrossingGuard's video and PC-based components can be adapted to meet the installation requirements of any intersection. Because the system is installed above ground, the need for costly, disruptive and time-consuming pavement cutting and lane closures is eliminated. There are no in-ground loops to install or maintain. The cameras are mounted on roadside poles or mast arms. A "ruggedized PC" is installed in the traffic controller cabinet or in an enclosure by the roadside. Phone line communications are deployed for the transmission of video and data between the intersection and the enforcement agency. The agency is equipped with a CrossingGuard Server PC which receives and stores violation data, and supports viewing violation evidence.

    Better enforcement of red light violations has proven to significantly reduce the number of red light running occurrences over time. With CrossingGuard, transportation and law enforcement officials can take advantage of the most advanced traffic monitoring technology available to enhance their law enforcement efforts and improve intersection safety.

    Nestor's marketing director Daniel Borkat says the firm's CrossingGuard system "is the only system capable of providing multiple video context views."

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