No more warnings

Published 7:31 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2011

If the updates through the newspaper, radio and other outlets weren’t enough to remind people of a new red light traffic camera at the intersection of J.L. Chestnut Boulevard and Franklin Street, the more than 800 warnings issued last month might have done the job.

After the camera was installed in late June, Selma Police and city officials began a month-long warning period, where those who committed a traffic violation in that intersection were issued a non-binding warning.

On Friday, that warning period ended, but those violating the traffic laws did not.

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“We had well over 800 warnings go out between June 29 and July 29,” Lt. Michael Harris with the Selma Police Department said. “That just goes to prove the camera was desperately needed there.”

Even though the installation of the camera has drawn criticism from some city leaders, Harris said this particular intersection has been a long-term problem for the department.

“We’ve had a number of accidents at this intersection and we have written a lot of citations at that intersection,” Harris said. “We simply do not have the manpower to put someone there 24 hours, seven days a week. This gives us that coverage.”

Between last Friday, when the month-long warning period ended, and Monday, a total of 23 verified citations have been processed and mailed to violators.

As for the intersection itself, Harris said he isn’t sure why it has become such a problem for so many drivers.

“I don’t really know,” Harris said. “I drive that road all the time and I don’t have a problem coming to a stop when I am supposed to.”
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