Government, Public Safety

City to use traffic safety cameras to combat red light violations, speeding

The City of Bessemer will soon begin using traffic safety cameras and related devices to make roadways, school zones and intersections safer for travelers and pedestrians. The “Bessemer Automated Traffic Safety System Ordinance” passed on a 5-1 City Council vote on Tuesday, May 16. The ordinance enables the city to use traffic safety cameras to combat red light runners, stop sign violators and speeders. “This is about the safety of our residents, not revenue,” said Mayor Kenneth Gulley. “If you are a Bessemer resident who believes in obeying the traffic laws of this city, this ordinance won’t affect you at all. “But we  recognize that not everyone abides by our traffic laws, so we want to make sure our police department has all the tools it needs to reduce traffic violations, such as the running of red lights and stop signs and make our streets, neighborhoods and school zones safer.” The ordinance goes into effect immediately, but several steps will be taken before the cameras are deployed to Bessemer’s roadways. First, the Bessemer Police Department will identify roadways and intersections where violations are frequent and where speeding is a concern. Those streets will be recommended to the Mayor for traffic safety enforcement. The city will then identify a vendor to provide the safety cameras and automated devices. Signs will be posted where the devices are eventually located, notifying drivers of on-going traffic safety camera enforcement. Mayor Gulley said the city will seek mobile equipment which the police department can deploy to intersections and roadways in response to complaints from residents. Traffic camera violations will be civil violations and the ordinance sets forth the fine structure. You can read the new ordinance by clicking Bessemer Automated Traffic Safety System Ordinance. Council vote: Y – Donald, Marshall, Matthews, Porter, Thigpen N – King Abstain – Vance