Police: Be careful turning right at intersections with cameras - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police: Be careful turning right at intersections with red light cameras

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Now that red light cameras are up and rolling in the city of Memphis, tickets are starting to pop up in mailboxes all over the Mid-South.  And in some cases, right turns are getting people into trouble, rather than running lights.

According to Memphis Police Lt. Jeff Tow, the first month of the city's red light camera system has been a learning experience.

For instance, most of the tickets sent out so far have been to drivers making a right turn on red.  Technically, it's a legal maneuver, but only if it is preceded by a complete stop.

Tow showed us a typical video captured by a red light camera where a complete stop was not made during a right-hand turn.

"She slows pretty good, but she doesn't stop," he said. "So technically, by state law, she ran that light."

A company in Arizona records video from the camera, sending each perceived violation to the Memphis Police Department's Real-Time Crime Center. There, officers decide whether to accept the violation and mail out the ticket, or reject the violation.

Last Friday, the police department's command staff told reviewing officers to use more discretion when issuing tickets in right on red situations.

"We review that in using the discretion that an officer has if he was on the street, decides whether or not it's a violation, would he would write the ticket or not," Tow said.

Since Friday, officers have reviewed 3629 violations:

  • 2728 have been rejected
  • 2698 of those involved right turns on red lights

If you do receive a ticket, instructions for contesting the fine will be on its back.  Tow said Memphis police will request the city court system be lenient on recent right-on-red camera system citations.

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