Traffic Safety Committee discusses possible solutions for red-light runners

The Traffic Safety Bikeways Pedestrian Committee discussed at their Aug. 19 meeting the possibility of installing red light cameras in Keizer to address complaints of drivers running red lights, especially along River Road. 

“I came tonight to fully support red light cameras,” said Carolyn Holman, the president of the West Keizer Neighborhood Association. “I’ve seen many instances of people running red lights and last fall I was a victim of a driver ignoring a red light at Sunset and River Road.” 

The discussion of red lights followed a July 15 meeting, where another Keizer resident requested that the city install red light cameras at intersections on River Road to “curb the ongoing problem of drivers running red lights.” At that meeting, the estimated cost for red light cameras was between $15,000 and $30,000. 

Sgt. David LeDay, police liaison to the committee, said that he dove into statistics since he’s a “data driven kind of person instead of an emotional person,” following the July meeting. 

Sgt. LeDay said what he found was that there have been only 22 crashes at red light intersections in Keizer the past five years. Of those 22, injuries occurred in only five of the accidents. With numbers that low, LeDay said violations most likely wouldn’t cover the cost of installing the cameras and monitoring them.

One less costly solution city council liaison Ross Day suggested was installing signs before intersections that displayed fines associated with running red lights. The hope would be that by listing the consequences, drivers may be more alert when approaching the intersection. 

Ross mentioned that he’d recently been to a town where the city had installed similar signs.

“The city believes that just putting those signs up helped dramatically decrease the number of red light runners,” said Ross. 

The committee decided to look into the costs of installing either metal signs or reader boards before making a recommendation to the city council at their meeting in September

In attendance at Aug. 19 meeting:

• Michael DeBlasi

• Hersch Sangster

• David Dempster

• Rick Kuehn

• Wayne Frey

• Ross Day, council liaison 

• Sgt. David LeDay, police liaison

Not in attendance:

•Steven Wolf

• Jamie Davis