Bensalem Red Light Camera Program the first 30 days

It’s been a full 30 days since the Bensalem Red Light Camera program went live and to say the initial results are jaw-dropping would be an understatement. The Bensalem Police Department has reported that 5,200 violations were detected.

The first 60 days of the program are a grace period in which violators all receive warnings instead of tickets. Tickets issued after 12:01 am June 1, 2024, carry a $100 fine but do not carry any points.

As we reported last year Bensalem Township Red Light Camera program would first target two intersections, Knights and Street roads, and Route 1 and Old Lincoln Highway. Time Magazine had named the Knights and Street Rd intersection, the most dangerous intersection in America.

Interestingly, the township does not receive any money from this program. All of the fines paid by violators go to the company handling the installation and operation of the cameras. A significant loss of potential revenue for the township. The installation, maintenance, and operation of the system were provided to Bensalem at no cost.

The Bensalem Police Department can however recoup money for equipment and personnel expenses related directly to the program.

Keeping out of the camera’s eye

The automated system only activates when the traffic light turns red.

If a violation is detected, the camera takes two photo images and records a video. The first image shows the vehicle before crossing the white stop line while the light is red. The second image shows the vehicle after crossing the white stop line, proving that the vehicle proceeded through the intersection while the traffic light was still red.

The Police Department has said that drivers who have the front of their vehicle behind the white stop line on the roadway when the traffic signal turns red, and the vehicle continues through the intersection despite the red signal, will result in a ticket.

If driving through a yellow light and the vehicle’s rear wheels are behind the stop line and the light turns red will not be considered a violation.

Can you appeal a Red Light Program fine?

Yes, you challenge a violation and have a closed-door hearing at the Bensalem township building. If after your hearing, you are found to be in violation, you can appeal in Doylestown.

Drivers who do not pay their fines can and will be subject to collections but police are not going to arrest people for not paying violations.

The Future of the Bensalem Red Light Camera Program

Should this pilot program be considered successful, the Bensalem Council will almost certainly consider rolling it out to other intersections in the township. With over 5000 violations in the first 30 days, I think most on the council would already consider it a success.

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