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City Leaders Delay Decision On More Red Light Cameras & Photo Radar Van

By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4) - Denver City Council is pumping the brakes on the installation of more red light cameras and photo radar vans in the city. During a meeting Monday evening, the council delayed a vote on a resolution to expand Photo Radar and Red Light Services.

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(credit: CBS)

The resolution would add two photo red light locations and one additional photo speed van. A few council members, however, want Denver Police and Denver Public Works to provide more information on what intersections need photo enforcement and why before they can decide if the current fleet should expand.

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Right now, the city has four red light cameras at intersections and has five photo radar vans used in various locations. One spot a radar van is often parked is along 17th Avenue near City Park. Trent Thompson lives close by and isn't so sure it's helping with the speeding issue.

"I think speed vans do what they can," he told CBS4's Kelly Werthmann, "but there's folks in our community that say there are still cars going 80 mph and it's not working."

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CBS4's Kelly Werthmann interviews Trent Thompson. (credit: CBS)

Thompson is a bit surprised the city may expand photo radar services especially, he said, if the vans don't move around much.

"You've got to make sure you're moving these vans from locations to location because people know where they are," he said. "They know when to slow down and then speed right back up."

Yet that's precisely why Denver Police often put the vans in the same spot. They say it creates a habit for drivers to slow down. Still, Thompson believes it'll take more than just photo radar to create safer roads.

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"It's going to take putting in bike lanes, maybe narrowing streets [to one lane so drivers don't speed to pass others], or trying to divert traffic to other places," he said.

That said, Thompson knows more safety efforts will cost money… and time.

"Who knows, we may all have self-driving cars by then," he joked.

Denver City Council has delayed the vote on the resolution until January 2, 2019.

LINK: Denver's Photo Enforcement Program

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.

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