PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia police officers are writing half as many tickets for red light running than they did five years ago. But that doesn’t mean police see traffic enforcement as less of a priority.
Stats from traffic court show Philadelphia police wrote 9,900 tickets for red light violations in 2014, and there’s been a steady decline in the years since, down to a little more than 4,000 last year.
Does that mean there are more law-abiding Philadelphians? Probably not.
Philadelphia police spokesman Sekou Kinebrew says enforcement includes the red light cameras run by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
“It looks like police officers are writing fewer tickets. But in the aggregate, more red light enforcement as a whole seems to be going on based on what I believe is possibly offsetting numbers,” he said.
Red light cameras at 31 intersections snapped 226,000 violations last year.
“The idea that there’s some sort of a grace period of the red! No, the grace is the yellow. That’s to alert you that it’s about to turn red so that you can slow down,” Kinebrew explained.
Sharon Gallagher of Fitler Square says the cameras, and her kids, have changed her driving habits.
“They also actually brought it to my attention that as a mom, I wasn’t being a very safe driver going through a yellow and trying to beat the red,” she said.
Kinebrew says drivers have more distractions than ever these days, but it’s still up to them to stop when the signal is red.