Smyrna gives green light to red light cameras

·2 min read

Aug. 2—SMYRNA — The Smyrna City Council gave the green light to installing red light cameras at two intersections Monday evening.

The council voted 5-0 with Corkey Welch and Tim Gould absent in favor of a one-year contract with Verra Mobility to purchase red light cameras.

Cameras will be placed at the intersection of South Cobb Drive and the East-West Connector and that of Spring Road and Cumberland Boulevard, one block from The Battery Atlanta.

Red light cameras are placed in an elevated position just before intersections, with signs indicating "photo enforcement" also at the intersections. Cameras in each direction at the four-way intersection capture drivers past the point where it is legal to be once a light has turned red. The cameras issue automatic citations using license plate information.

The city will use the money from the fines, which are $70 each, to pay Verra Mobility for the cameras, with any funds left over from citations to be used by the city, per Smyrna spokesperson Jennifer Bennett.

Before the meeting, City Administrator Joe Bennett clarified that the cost associated with the cameras would be for $3,995 for each intersection, not each camera.

"This is something that we've been looking at for a number of years," said Bennett, who previously served as Smyrna police chief. "Even back when I was the chief, I've been in conversation with Marietta about the effectiveness of (their cameras)."

Marietta is the only city in Cobb with red light cameras currently in place. Cities register their cameras with the Georgia Department of Transportation, which said Marietta has cameras at three intersections: Windy Hill Road and Cobb Parkway, Powder Springs Road and South Marietta Parkway, and Cobb Parkway and Allgood Road.

According to Marietta City Manager Bill Bruton, the three red light cameras in Marietta resulted in $673,473 in fines from July 2021 through June 2022.

Bennett said the high number of accidents and violations at the intersections necessitated the purchase of the cameras, which he expects will pay for themselves.

"The anticipated cost for the service is $0, as it will be violator-funded with revenue sharing of any collections," Bennett said.